"That was actually kinda fun," Gaz said, referring to their earlier dance.
"Yeah, I like it," Zim agreed.
"Kinda makes you tired, though." Her hand was pressed to her chest as she took deep breaths.
"It's supposed to. It's an exercise as well as a dance."
"One bottle of water," Zim said to the lady in the concession stand. She fished one out of the ice-filled cooler and set it on the counter.
"One dollar," she said.
Zim dug a dollar bill out of her pocket and gave it to her, then picked up the bottle. The ice-cold water clinging to its outside made him flinch as it burned his skin. He quickly handed it to Gaz and wiped his hand off on his pant leg.
"Thanks." She twisted the lid off and drank deeply. They walked back to where Dib was sitting. "You sure Dib won't get jealous?" she asked.
"Oh, no. It's a dance. He won't care. Dib's not the jealous type," Zim replied. "If anything, I'm the jealous one. I never like anyone near him. Like this one time, we were at a convenience store getting some soda
" He sat down next to Dib and Gaz sat on his other side. "Hey Dib, I'm telling Gaz the story of when we were at that convenience store."
"Oh God." Dib face-palmed.
Zim went on, "So we were at the counter paying for the sodas. The cashier was a female. I think she assumed we were just friends and decided to start flirting with my Dib."
"What'd you do?" Gaz asked.
"I hit her with my bottle of soda and then shoved her head through the lottery ticket rack," Zim replied.
"Then he grabbed me and screamed about how I was his property for several minutes," Dib added. "Then Zim destroyed the security camera, hacked into the system to get the footage of us off, and we left before the police got there."
"Sounds like a lot of fun." Gaz took another long drink of water.
"Yeah, it was," Zim agreed.
The current song ended and a familiar voice said, "All right, now this is something new."
"IT'S THE CHA-CHA SLIDE!" Zim shouted, jumping up. He grabbed Dib's arm. "I love this song!"
"Oh, yeah, me too! Let's go!" Dib ran with him to the front of the crowd of students that were now on the dance floor. Only a few people remained sitting down. Even Gaz decided to go out there.
"This time, we're gonna get FUNKY!" the song rapped. Everyone sang along, clapping lightly to the beat and swaying from side to side. "FUNKY! Everybody clap your hands! Clap, clap, clap your hands!"
This song was an all-time favorite at dances. Everyone's heard it since middle school. It told you exactly how to dance to it in the lyrics. And it was a lot of fun.
"You really like this song, don't you?" Dib asked as Zim sang along to several of the lyrics.
"Cha-cha now, y'all!" Zim replied.
Soon, the song reached the part everybody always sings along with.
"FREEZE!" all the students roared. "EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!" Fast, rhythmic clapping filled the gym.
When the song finally ended, everyone laughed and shouted, "Peace" along with the singer, many of them doing the peace sign with their hands. Then most of them sat down while some stayed on the floor to dance to the next song.
"That was fun," Zim said, looking around as others started dancing around them.
"Yeah, it always is. Come on, let's sit down." Dib went to sit down on the nearby bleachers. Zim sat next to him and leaned in close, putting an arm around him. He played with the homecoming king banner crossing over one of Dib's shoulders. Then he reached up to fix his crown. Dib did the same, adjusting the crown that had started to slip sideways on Zim's head.
"Where's your sister?" Zim asked in a surprisingly calm voice. He was very relaxed right now, watching everyone dance while cuddling with his human and listening to good music.
Dib scanned the dark gym and located her. "There she is. Dancing with some junior."
"Huh. Unexpected, but good nonetheless. That girl needs some love." Zim rested his head against Dib's chest. "Everyone does."
"Even us," Dib said quietly.
Zim nodded. "Even us."
The rest of the night passed by quickly until it was time for the final song. The lights came up. Couples that were dancing a bit inappropriately quickly jumped apart and pretended to be innocent.
"Come on, we have to dance to this one," Zim said, standing up.
"Okay. Let's go." The two walked to the middle of the floor.
The song started playing.
"Wait, I know this
" Dib said slowly.
Zim smiled. "I sent it in. In case we won, I wanted them to play it. I thought it was really good for us." Despite being shorter, he led the slow dance, hands resting gently on Dib's waist.
"I've got a funny feeling," Toby Keith's voice sang gently over the loudspeakers. "The moment your lips touched mine, something shot right through me
my heart skipped a beat in time
"Everyone's watching us," Dib muttered, blushing a bit at the sight of everyone forming a wide circle around them, eyes on them.
"Let them watch," Zim replied, standing taller to kiss him briefly.
"There's a different feel about you tonight
it's got me thinking lots of crazy things
I even think I saw a flash of light
It felt like electricity
Zim shifted his arms up a little bit to the middle of Dib's back, leaning in to rest his head under the boy's chin.
Dib put an arm around Zim's waist. The other reached around his shoulder so he could rest his hand gently on his PAK. The cool metal seemed to hum under his fingertips.
The watching crowd sighed quietly, enjoying the sweet interaction between the two as they swayed in time to the song. The chorus started.
"You shouldn't kiss me like this, unless you mean it like that
Or I'll just close my eyes and forget where I am
We'll get lost on this dance floor just spinning around. And around, and around, and around
The two almost were forgetting where they were. They didn't care that everyone else was watching them. They only cared about being together.
"That's real love," a sophomore whispered to her friend, who nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, being able to overlook such trivial boundaries as gender," the friend mumbled just as quietly. "I can just see the love in the way they're holding each other and in their eyes
The song continued to play softly in the background. "They're all watching us now; they think we're falling in love. They'll never believe we're just friends
"Falling in love?" Dib asked. "We're already in love."
"Yeah, but songs can't be perfect," Zim replied. His eyes had fallen into a half-lidded expression, but there seemed to be a fire smoldering in their depths. Even in this slow dance, his passion for his human was evident.
A few other couples also braved the floor, dancing near them. Keef and Gretchen were barely five yards away. Zita and her boyfriend also came a bit closer and joined in.
When the song ended, Zim raised a hand to cup Dib's cheek, gazing at him warmly. Dib leaned him back and kissed him gently, holding his head close. His other hand slipped from his waist and simply hung at his side, but he didn't bother fixing it. To keep his balance, Zim grabbed Dib's back with the hand that wasn't resting on Dib's cheek.
Everyone clapped lightly and cheered for them. Some of the girls even cried with joy.
The two separated and smiled at each other.
"Best dance of my life," Dib said quietly.
"The best dance of your life so far," Zim corrected him, tapping his nose with a claw.
"Your homecoming kings, everyone!" the SGA president, Willy, announced. Everyone cheered loudly.
Mr. Don took the mic. "See, this is what love's all about. I think you all can learn from these two. Zim? Dib? Anything you'd like to say?"
"Yeah, I want to say something." Zim accepted the mic. He gave everyone a very serious look. "I have a piece of advice for all of you. If society ever tries to tell you that your love is wrong, don't listen to them. Get in their face and refuse to conform to their standards. You're free to love whoever you want! Look at us! We're not hurting anyone! Our love is not immoral! Hear the words of Zim!" He held his arms up and loud claps came back to him.
"You are so good at giving speeches," Dib said with a hint of jealousy.
"I just have a talent for it," Zim replied. He returned the mic to the principal and held Dib close while the dance was officially ended. The strobe lights stopped and everything was turned off. The two of them stayed behind to help put equipment away and take down decorations.
When they finally finished, it was around midnight. Yawning, they said goodbye to the few remaining adults and left.
"Can you give me a ride home?" Zim asked with a yawn.
" Dib replied, also yawning.
They went outside and got in his car. Zim leaned against the door, head resting against the window and eyes drifting closed. The engine started up quietly.
"Where did Gaz go?" Zim asked tiredly, just now realizing that the girl had left as soon as the dance was over.
"She has a car too, you know," Dib replied.
Dib drove the car out onto the road and toward Zim's house. He was so tired that his vision kept blurring and he had to blink several times to see where he was going.
"Don't crash," Zim warned without opening his eyes, having felt the car swerve slightly as Dib avoided hitting a cat.
"I'm not going to crash."
They made it to Zim's house without any serious mishap.
"I don't feel like driving all the way home from here," Dib complained as he got out and walked around to the passenger's side to hug Zim as the irken got out.
"You can stay here, then." Zim's steps were heavy as he walked through the front lawn and opened the door.
"Really? You don't mind?"
"Of course not."
Dib followed him, entering the house behind him. He watched Zim pull his disguise off and put his homecoming stuff away carefully. Dib took his own off, putting it on a small table next to the couch. Zim sat down on the couch and stretched.
"Well, you can have the couch," he said, patting the cushions. "It's pretty comfortable."
"It's cold in here, though," Dib said, rubbing his arms a little.
"I'll get a blanket. Computer, blanket!" Computer hit Zim in the face with a thick blanket. Too tired to even yell at it for that, Zim shook it out and wrapped it around Dib. "There."
Much more comfortable and warm now, Dib lay down on his side and used the arm rest as a pillow.
Zim got up and started for the elevator, then changed his mind and laid down in front of Dib, putting his back against his front and pulling the blanket over himself.
Smiling, Dib put his arms around the irken and pulled him closer, resting his chin on top of his head. The antennae brushed his face slightly and he exhaled on one. It twitched before both fell down limply, marking that their owner was completely at ease. A very rare event.
Together like this, warm and content, they fell into deep, peaceful sleeps. Today had been wonderful.