A few weeks passed, and soon, it was time to vote for homecoming king and queen. Dib managed to convince Zim that they should vote for someone other than themselves, since that wasn't very modest. After much deliberation, they agreed to cast both of their votes on Zita and her boyfriend. Dib even managed to keep Zim from demanding to know who voted for him afterward.
The day of the dance came. Since they were candidates, they had to go to all of the events before the actual dance, such as the pep rally, basketball, and football games. Though they weren't interested in sports, they agreed anyway. They didn't have much choice, and besides, the pep rally might be fun. It was where the king and queen would be crowned.
"Or king and king," Zim reminded Dib as they walked to the gym. They were already wearing their semi-formal clothes, having changed right after their last class.
"Or king and king," Dib agreed. They entered the gym. Since they were candidates, they had their own area where they were supposed to stand. They greeted the others politely and talked quietly while waiting for the pep rally to start.
Mr. Don finally stepped up to the mic. "Welcome to the homecoming pep rally!"
"What was that?" he asked, holding his hand up to his ear.
Almost the entire student body and the entire faculty were packed into the gym. Therefore, the resulting roar was almost deafening.
"Oh, okay. I didn't hear you the first time," Mr. Don laughed. "We're going to have a great night. After we choose the homecoming king and queen, we'll move on to our football and basketball games, and then the dance. So without further ado
let the pep rally commence!"
The rally went on for almost half an hour, and everyone managed to scream themselves hoarse to the different prompts they were given. The cheerleaders performed and led them through several different chants. The band came in and played to much applause. Overall, they had a great time.
"Okay, everyone, calm down," Mr. Don called through the mic. Everyone got quiet except for the occasional cough and clearing of throats. "I think I need to officially announce each of our candidates for king and queen."
Zim couldn't help but cough loudly, drawing the principal's attention.
"Ah, yes. I'm sure you've realized by now, but we also have candidates for king and king. These two have been together since their sophomore year," Mr. Don said, nodding to Zim and Dib. They waved awkwardly. "Would you like to say anything, boys?"
"Of course." Zim took the microphone and said, "I'd just like to say that even though we're both males, that's no reason why we don't deserve love too. We finally found someone who understands us and wants to be with us. And that's reason enough to be together." He threw his arms in the air. "Love has no boundaries!"
His little speech met loud cheering and clapping.
Zim bowed and gave the microphone to Dib. "Dib, go ahead and say something. Address the masses!"
"I'm not much of a public speaker and they've already cast their vote, so it's not like I can change their minds
oh, screw it. Hi, everyone. Um
I agree fully with Zim, our love is just as special as Gretchen and Keef's, or Zita and Brian's
And to those of you who did vote for us, thank you." He nodded, feeling his cheeks burning at speaking in public like this, and handed the mic to Mr. Don.
The man smiled and said, "Thank you for those inspirational words, you two. Would any of the other candidates like to say anything?"
Once everyone was done saying something to the students, Mrs. Ben, the vice principal, approached with an envelope and handed it to him. He opened it and pulled out a small card. "And the homecoming winners are
" He paused for dramatic effect. No one breathed. A pencil clattered from someone's purse, unnaturally loud in the silence. Zim grabbed Dib's arm tightly, waiting expectantly. Then: "Zim Nekri and Dib Membrane!"
The roar of approval was instantaneous. Everyone was immediately on their feet, clapping and hollering, pumping their fists in the air.
Dib stood there in a daze. He barely registered Zim shaking him happily and shouting, "We won! Dib, we won!"
He shook his head and looked down at the irken in a numb sort of delight. "Oh, yeah. We did, didn't we?"
"I always knew we would!" Zim wrapped him into a tight hug. Someone approached with the crowns and he looked them over. "Give Dib the queen one." He smiled and accepted the larger of the crowns while Dib took the other and put it on his head.
"We had two homecoming king banners made just in case," Mr. Don said, putting them around the shoulders of the two. They adjusted them and read the titles with pride.
"This has renewed my faith in humanity," Dib said.
Zim nodded. "Yes, it is rather incredible that they would accept us like this." He took the microphone and called for everyone's attention. They got quiet and listened. "Thanks to everyone who voted for us! You have no idea how much this means to us!"
"And to the other candidates, thanks for running," Dib added. "You were all great."
"So thanks for voting us as the first ever king and king!" Zim went on, pacing in front of the bleachers. "I promise we will be very good kings."
"Why don't you tell us all why you wanted to run," Mr. Don said.
"Well it's simple," Zim replied. "I love my Dib and figured we had just as much right to run for homecoming
kings as any boyfriend and girlfriend. Love shouldn't have boundaries! Am I right?"
Everyone cheered in response.
"So we decided to go for it. And I'm glad we did."
Dib couldn't help but admire how calm Zim was addressing the entire student body like this. Then again, the irken always did love publicity.
"As many of the seniors should know, when I first moved here in the fifth grade, Dib and I were always fighting." Zim grinned at the memories. "He actually used to think I was an alien! Can you believe that?"
Everyone laughed, even Dib.
"Oh yeah. Alien scum," Dib said teasingly. They both chuckled.
"All throughout that year and middle school we fought," Zim went on. "And it seemed we could never be friends. I'm still not sure what happened between us, but during our freshman year, we just stopped the fighting. There was no point anymore. No one would believe him. So
there are a lot of personal reasons we ended up together, but I don't want to talk about those."
Dib took the microphone. "Also, we realized we're a lot alike. Again, most of that's personal, but believe us, we're like clones."
Zim snorted in laughter.
"What?" Dib asked. Then he remembered that Zim was a clone created from the combined DNA of probably thousands of other irkens, and Dib himself is a clone of his father. "Oh, yeah." They both laughed at the private joke. When they managed to quiet down, Dib said, "Anyway, we grew to really like each other once we stopped trying to kill each other. Friendship became love
and here we are." It was by no means a well-thought-out speech, but there were claps and nods of approval nonetheless.
"I couldn't have said it better myself!" Zim stole the mic back. "Once again, thank you, everyone!"
Mr. Don took the mic. "Well then, now that we have our kings, why don't we start our first homecoming game? If you would all follow us out to the football field in an orderly fashion
Everyone got to their feet and raced down the bleachers, scrambling for the back door. Zim and Dib went out first with Mr. Don and the others that had tried for homecoming king and queen. They talked energetically and laughed together as they approached the nearby football field, with hundreds of students of all grades following behind them.
"Come on Dib, strut," Zim said encouragingly. "We're the most important people in the school right now! Watch, do as I do." He swaggered over to the outside bleachers and sat down on the first one, right behind the home team bench. Dib shook his head and smiled, sitting next to him. It was a little chilly out already, so he put his arms around Zim for warmth.
With a quiet purr that no one else would be able to hear, Zim leaned closer to him. "I wish you had your trench coat," he said regretfully.
"Yeah, me too," Dib replied. "Unfortunately, it's not formal enough."
They scooted over a bit as the principal sat next to them. The other district high school was already waiting on the bleachers across the field from them, booing as the home team rushed out onto the field. Zim stood up and loudly jeered back at them, leading the rest of his school to do the same.
"Hey, where's your homecoming king and queen?" someone from the rival school yelled.
Zim pulled Dib up and shouted, "The kings are right here!" He pointed at their crowns and banners.
Laughter erupted from across the field. Dib grabbed Zim's arms before he could run over there.
"Zim, calm down, they're not worth it!" Dib said, trying to wrestle Zim back into his seat.
Zim sat down with a huff of annoyance. "They're just jealous."
"Of course they are. Just ignore them." Dib sat next to him and resumed holding him.
The football game started and the other school quickly stopped laughing at them and instead started screaming at their team to make a touchdown.
Zim stood up and laughed maniacally as Chunk tackled the other team's quarterback and knocked the ball out of their hand. Torque caught it and ran for the touchdown line. "That sure showed them!" he shouted. "Go Torque! Run! RUN!"
"Hey Gay and Gayer," a female voice said from next to them.
"Oh, hey Gaz!" Dib scooted over so his sister could sit down next to him. "Since when do you like watching football?"
"I don't. But I do want to go to the dance and I want someone to talk to until then."
"Which one of us is gay and which is gayer?" Zim asked, leaning forward so he could see her.
She looked between them, tapping on her chin as she considered, and finally said, "Dib's the gayer one."
"Ha!" Zim pointed at him mockingly.
"Didn't expect you two to win," Gaz said. She watched the game for a moment as Torque managed to score the touchdown. She waited for the resulting roar of the crowd to die down before going on, "I was pretty surprised."
"Did you vote for us?" Dib asked.
Gaz nodded. "Only because there wasn't anyone else I wanted to win."
"Aw." Dib reached to hug her.
She grabbed his shoulders and held him back. "I don't think so."
He kept trying to hug her, though. With a sigh, she let go of him and said, "Okay, fine."
He smiled and embraced her. "Have I ever told you you're my favorite little sister?"
"I'm your only little sister," she replied, looking away to hide her smile.
"Are you going with anyone to the dance?" Dib asked.
Gaz shook her head. "No, but I do like dark places with music."
"I'll find someone for you to dance with," Dib promised her. They looked back at the field as their team got another touchdown.
Zim stood up on the bleachers and pumped his fist in the air. "YEAH, GET SOME!"
Dib pulled lightly on his elbow and sat him down again.
"Our team is amazing," Zim commented, grinning as someone on the opposing team got tackled.
"Yeah, it is. I still don't like football that much," Dib replied.
"Me neither. I'm only watching it for the tackling and other bodily harm. HA!" Zim pointed and laughed at a pile-up that foiled the away team's attempt to get some points.
When the game finally ended, the other school was looking pretty depressed. They had lost horribly. The two teams shook hands in a show of good sportsmanship, but when they separated to go back to the locker room, the home team was snickering and high-fiving each other.
"Well, the basketball game is next," Mr. Don said, standing up.
Zim and Dib got up too and followed him, Gaz right behind them. And behind her were the other couples. Then the entire school.
Their team also managed to successfully win the basketball game. By the time the rival school left, they were all miserable.
"Better luck at your homecoming, losers!" Zim shouted as they got on their buses or in their cars. Then he grabbed Dib's arm proudly and pulled him into the gym, paying the entrance fee for the dance and going in. The slow music would come later. Right now it was dim and Lady Gaga's Poker Face was playing.
"Don't look straight at the strobe lights or they might blind you," Dib teased. He was referring the first homecoming dance they ever went to, back in their sophomore year. Zim had made the mistake of looking at a strobe light and then screaming in pain as it hurt his sensitive eyes.
Zim rolled his eyes. "Zim learned his lesson two years ago." He grabbed Dib's hands. "Now dance with me!"
They danced together for a few minutes. When the song was over, they separated and went to sit down on the bleachers, watching everyone else instead.
A few feet away, they saw Keef dancing energetically with Gretchen. Zita was being spun around several times by Brian. Jessica was hanging off of Chunk's arm and praising him endlessly for all the touchdowns he had scored earlier.
Gaz was standing alone watching everyone.
"Your sister's alone," Zim said, nudging Dib and pointing.
Dib looked over at her. "Well, she's pretty scary. I don't blame everyone for staying away from her."
"Still, it's kind of sad. She should have someone."
"Maybe a freshman that doesn't know any better will ask her. And maybe she won't kill them in response," Dib suggested.
Zim shook his head. "I have a better idea." He stood up. "Be right back."
Dib leaned back and watched Zim go talk to her. The music was too loud for him to hear what he was saying even though he was only ten feet away. He tried to read their lips, but the darkness made that difficult.
Then Zim held his hand out. After a brief hesitation, Gaz took it, smiling a little. Dib sat up all the way, watching with surprise as Zim led her to a more open part of the dance floor and started teaching her a fast-paced irken dance.
Dib recognized it; Zim had taught it to him two years ago. He watched with amusement as Gaz picked up on it quickly and was soon twirling and weaving around the irken, feet barely touching the ground. Zim was doing the same, quick-stepping around her and sometimes spinning her. Both were grinning.
The dance was meant to be fun as well as an exercise. It worked the legs and upper body and developed flexibility.
By the time the three minute song was done, Gaz was sweating and panting, while Zim looked slightly tired.
"Want some water?" he asked.
She wiped the back of her hand across her forehead and nodded. "Sure." They headed toward the front of the gym, where the concession stand was.