Dib paused as he read the bulletin board near the school's front door.
"What're you reading?" the familiar voice said from behind him.
Without turning around, Dib reached back with an arm and pulled Zim toward him, holding him close. "Just looking to see if there are any new announcements."
Surprised but pleased at finding himself this close to his human, Zim stretched up onto the tips of his toes so he could rest his head against Dib's shoulder, reading the board too. "Hey, look!" He pointed at a bright flyer. "All applicants for homecoming king and queen need to talk to the principal before January 10th!"
"So?" Dib had no clue why Zim would bring that up.
"So we should go for it!"
we're both males."
"So? We can be homecoming king and king!"
"I don't think they do that."
"We can ask."
okay, I suppose it's worth asking. It's ten minutes until the first bell. Do you think that's enough?"
"Of course it is. Let's go." Zim grabbed his wrist and dragged him through the hall.
When they reached the office, they had to wait for a couple in front of them to finish putting their names down as candidates.
"Gretchen?" Dib asked in mild surprise when the girl turned around.
"Oh, hi Dib," she replied shyly. She used to have a crush on him, but he was never interested, so she was forced to move on.
"Keef?" Zim asked in amazement. "You're with Gretchen?"
"Yeah, I have been since last year
I thought I told you," Keef said, his tone just as happy as it's always been.
"Oh, sorry, must have forgotten. Well, we have business to attend to in here, so good luck." Zim managed to pat the boy on the shoulder without cringing.
"Thanks buddy!" Keef hugged him.
Zim stiffened and slowly pulled away, not wanting to hurt his feelings but also not wanting to touch him.
"See ya later!" Keef took Gretchen's hand and scurried out with her.
Dib let out a sigh of relief and stepped up to the secretary's desk. "We have a question about homecoming."
"What is it?" the secretary replied.
Dib couldn't quite figure out how he should word his question, so Zim did it for him. "Will we be able to run as homecoming kings?" he asked.
you mean the two of you together, or
?" The secretary seemed confused at this question.
Zim rolled his eyes and pulled Dib toward him with an arm, keeping it around his waist. "I mean that Dib and I want to run for homecoming king and king. Are we allowed to do that?"
It finally clicked in the lady's brain. She blushed a bit at the realization that the two seniors in front of her were gay, but she kept her cool. "You'd have to talk to the principal about that. He's free right now, so go on in." She waved a hand to the nearby door marked with a plaque that read, 'Mr. Don: Principal.'
Zim squared his shoulders and marched for the door. Dib followed, his posture much more anxious. He wasn't as good at hiding his emotions as Zim was.
Zim knocked a few times.
"Enter," Mr. Don called.
Zim opened the door. "Hello, Mr. Don!"
The man sighed. "What did you do this time?"
"What? Oh, no, I'm here with Dib to ask you a question," Zim replied quickly.
Mr. Don looked between the two of them, an eyebrow raised. As a man who kept track of all goings-on in the school, including gossip, he's heard a lot about them. Their total disregard for other's opinions of them impressed him, but he still found their relationship strange. "And what question would that be?" he inquired.
"Well, homecoming is coming up," Zim said. Dib decided to just let him do the talking and instead looked around the room curiously, keeping one ear on the conversation. "We were just wondering if we were allowed to run. Except we would be kings, instead of a king and queen. Is that allowed?"
Dib slowly looked back at Mr. Don as the man considered the question. "I've never heard of it being done before, and especially not at my school."
Dib could sense the irken's disappointment, though he hid it well. "Oh. I see." Zim glanced at Dib. "I guess we can't."
"Wait, I don't remember saying 'no'," Mr. Don said, smiling.
Zim perked up. If he hadn't been wearing a wig, his antennae would probably be standing up with interest and excitement. "Sir?"
"I'd be honored to have you two as the first candidates for homecoming king and king. I think it'd be a good message for everyone here about acceptance. A message of love and how it has no boundaries."
"Absolutely none," Zim agreed, putting an arm around Dib's shoulders and grinning at him. The fact that he was an alien made the description even more accurate. Dib smiled, catching onto the joke.
"So boys, if you're sure you want to run, then sign these papers." Mr. Don started rummaging through the stacks of paper on his desk before extracting two forms, passing them over.
The two quickly filled them out and signed them. Zim made sure he ended his signature with a fancy flourish. He might have underlined it too, but Dib took it from him and gave it to the principal along with his paper.
Zim gave him an annoyed look.
"Good luck, then, boys," Mr. Don said. That was their cue to leave.
"Thanks," Dib said gratefully. "This means a lot to us."
Mr. Don acknowledged his thanks with a courteous nod. They left the office and headed for homeroom as the first bell rang, warning everyone that they had five minutes to get to class. In the hall, there was the sound of running and lockers slamming closed.
Zim and Dib took their usual seats near the front left side of the classroom, sitting next to each other.
"We should get started on our campaign," Dib said. "We gotta make posters, announce it to the senior class, and so on."
"Leave it to me," Zim said. He went up to ask the teacher if he could make an announcement while everyone was in here and before they left for first period. She agreed and he returned to his desk.
After a few minutes, everyone was seated and waiting for the morning announcements. Zim grabbed Dib and pulled him up to the front. Everyone ignored them and continued talking.
"Excuse me!" Zim called. A few people shifted their attention to him. He waved his arms. "Hey! Zim has an announcement! Pay attention!"
"Class, listen to what he has to say," the teacher, Mrs. Brigs, snapped. "He said it's very important."
The students decided to straighten up and give Zim their undivided attention.
Zim gave her a thankful nod and spread his arms dramatically. "Classmates! Fellow students I've known since fifth grade! Dib and I have something to tell you!" He looked at Dib in case he wanted to take it from here, but Dib was busy staring at his shoelace, so he continued. "We talked to the principal earlier and signed some papers. And now we're running for homecoming king and king!"
Everyone laughed, cheered, and applauded them.
"Good luck, guys!" Zita called.
"I knew it!" Sara laughed. "You have my vote!"
"Yeah, you two are so cute together," Aki agreed.
"You guys are hardcore," Chunk said. "I wouldn't have the guts to do what you did."
"Yeah, if I were in a homosexual relationship, I'd try to hide it," Poonchy said, then sank down in his seat slightly.
A few more congratulations were called. Zim accepted them with a smile and a few bows, then took his seat again. Dib sat down next to him. "That was embarrassing," he muttered.
"I think it went well," Zim replied.
Soon, the bell rang and announcements started. Everyone was told to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance. When they sat down, a female voice came over the speakers to announce today's lunch, a reminder to get physicals for spring sports, and then talking about homecoming.
"Please be reminded that all applicants for king and queen must sign up before the tenth and they must be seniors," the girl concluded. "Hope you have a wonderful day." She got quiet and the speakers buzzed slightly as she put the mic down and it was turned off. Then the bell rang and everyone left for first period.
"I'm going to get started on the rough draft of our poster," Zim said, taking out a piece of paper and drawing on it as they sat down in their Advanced Calculus class.
"Yeah, have fun with that." Dib was nervous about this, but it was worth a shot. Besides, maybe they could win. It was a small hope, but a hope nonetheless.
"We'll win," Zim assured him, patting his arm. "I'll make sure of it."
"I hope so."
It wasn't long before Zim managed to make several colorful posters imploring other students to vote for them. They were decorated with crowns that had been drawn and colored with incredible care. Each had a slogan across the bottom: "Because love is love no matter who it's with."
Dib found it incredibly sweet by Zim's standards. When he asked him about it, the irken simply shrugged and replied that he spoke only the truth. Then he had kissed his boyfriend gently in the middle of the hall and gone off to pin up the posters in random places throughout the school where everyone would see them. Since they had a head start, they were able to get good areas, such as in the lunch room, next to each of the bathrooms, and even next to the gym doors.
"Where should we put the last one?" Zim asked, showing Dib a poster much like the others, done on purple poster board and with a few stickers along with its drawings; GIR's handiwork.
"In the freshmen's hallway," Dib decided.
Zim snickered. "Yes, we shall corrupt their innocent little minds. They'll be so appalled. It'll be hilarious." The two went together to the hallway with all the freshman classes, putting the sign between the boy bathroom and the girl bathroom, over the water fountain. "There we go."
A passing freshman stopped and looked at them with wonder. "Are you seniors?" he asked.
Zim nodded. "Yep. Just putting up our last homecoming poster." He tapped it. "Vote for us."
you two are running together?"
as boyfriend and
The freshman boy backed away. "Oh. Um
" Then he rushed off to class without another word.
Zim and Dib glanced at each other, and then burst out laughing. "I love it when they run away like that!" Zim said.
"Yeah, they always seem so surprised when we tell them about us," Dib agreed. "Now if they had grown up with us, like the other seniors, then they wouldn't even pay attention."
"I know, right?" Zim pulled him down to kiss him for a few moments. When he pulled back, he said, "Now that we're done, let's go get some lunch. We're having pizza today."
They raced for the cafeteria.