DISCLAIMER: Invader Zim is never mine. So are the other inserted materials. This is a collection of tiny fanfics combined into one. Hope you like it, Ryu. Except for the EXO songfics within.
First Snow, an Invader Zim fanfiction
Time had stopped. First snow had fallen. Feathers on feathers on feathers. A soft blanket on the ground: white on gray on brown. The white snow shall fill all holes. Wherever it falls, wherever it goes. Two children stared; a brother and a sister, their feelings changing to the rhythm of falling snow:
My Turn to Cry
A long, long time ago, there lived a little boy named Dib. Back then, he was three. He had learned to read at the tender age of two (his father was very proud of him for that), so the world had became a testing-ground for his new ability.
In the supermarket: “Broccoli, asparagus, fettuccine, aubergine!”
In the pharmacy: “Hydrocortisone, magnesium hydroxide!”
In the clinic: “Tuberculosis, hyperthyroidism, exophtalmia!”
For some people, he seemed crazy and annoying, but he also had a hobby beyond the comprehension of others. At night, he would climb on a chair he placed next to the window and stared at the night sky. From his room, the sky was dark and starless. He gazed up with his eyes wide open, standing still and as focused as a vigilante, looking for something extraordinary beneath the darkness. He knew that something was waiting out there. All he could do was waiting for a sign.
Other children would busy themselves with dolls, action figures, or other various games of make-believe. Dib, on the other hand, burrowed himself in tales of other planets beyond our own. In his room, he was surrounded by newspapers, magazines, booms and pictures regarding UFOs. To Dib, the exo-planets were never empty. The thought of it filled him with excitement. During these moments, he was just another boy.
People didn’t care much because his beliefs never harmed anyone… till one day, the delicate line was crossed.
It was a stormy autumn night, and Gaz was celebrating her birthday with her father and brother. Gaz was one year younger than Dib and had a round, white face. She couldn’t wait for her birthday cake.
When their father finally arrived, he brought with him a huge, marvellous cake. The cake had a strange shape, humanoid even, clad like an astronaut. Candlelight blazed on its feet and at the top of the cake was a silver head with bug-like green eyes that glowed in the dark. The image settled to Dib’s naive eyes as a threat.
He pushed Gaz aside and yelled, “Stand back, Gaz! I won’t let that alien scum hurt you!” With one swift motion, he kicked the cake off the dinner table and it crashed tragically to the floor.
Gaz shook in her baby chair, her eyes flashing and her body shaking. “Dib, how could you?” She screamed through her tears. Dib was rendered speechless. Her hand reached for the Professor Membrane lamp beside her and knocked it hard on Dib’s head.
The blow was powerful enough to make Dib’s head pound. His head began to spin. He gripped his chair tight as translucent drops slipped down his eyes.
It was his fault after all. He had ruined Gaz’s birthday with his obsessions and now he’d paid the price. Her sadness was placed upon him now.
As Gaz was choked with her tears, Dib realised that it was his turn to cry.
Time is strange. It can speed up, then slow down, still it flows at a same rate.
…play, stop, rewind…
Is there such a thing as time control?
Snow was falling down. Professor Membrane held his children’s hands on their way to their favourite restaurant.
The three of them stepped inside.Three seats were occupied. Foods were served in plates. Drinks, poured in crystal prisms, glittered as moonlight beamed. Gaz sat next to his father while Dib sat next to the winter wind on the opposite chair. They began to eat.
Gaz did not like mushrooms, so she gave some of hers to Dib. He gobbled them all up, all too fast to mess up his face.
“You know what, Dib? All that sauce is making your large head look stupid!” Gaz waved her pizza in the air like a Japanese fan. “Wipe them!”
“Wipe your face off them, son!” The professor chuckled behind his lab-coat collar. Dib grinned. Sometimes, he couldn’t help himself. Moments like this are rare.
Dib continued to eat.
“Your ugly, messed-up head is ruining my appetite!” Gaz pressed a sheet of tissue paper to Dib’s face. Dib squirmed. A minute later, the painful ordeal ended. His face was clean again.
“Thanks, Gaz.” Dib smiled, yet she replied with a grunt.
The look on Professor Membrane’s face changed. He rose up from the seat, his visage ashen. “I got an emergency call. Sorry, kids, but I have to return to the lab now.”
“Dad!” The children groaned in unison. And it was supposed to be a family dinner.
“Finish all the meals, kids. We can still have dinner together next year, can’t we?” With the rhetorical question asked, the professor left the restaurant.
The disappointed children exchanged stares. “At least we still have our pizza!” Dib tried to coax his little sister. Gaz nodded, but her eyes betrayed her anger. The amber in her eyes glowed like fire embers. Dib could not extinguish that. Hence, he continued to finish his meals and reached for the bottle of pepper.
In its last act of obstinacy, the bottle of pepper slipped from his hand that his elbow knocked Gaz’s glass of soda. The drink splashed onto her dress. Her eyes widened.
“It’s just an accident, Gaz. I’m sorry!–”
Gaz grabbed her father’s half-empty glass of soda and emptied its contents to Dib’s face. The spikes of Dib’s hair hung limp to his face. She was contented. All too contented.
Suddenly, a foreign noise entered Dib’s ears. A girl’s laughter. Dib backhanded his limp hair and saw that Gaz was smiling and laughing at him.
“Are you laughing, Gaz?”
Gaz crossed her arms, her countenance tightened. “No, I’m not, Four-Eyes. Your four eyes are filled with soda.”
“I swear! I swear that you were laughing just now!”
“Shut up!” Gaz grabbed Dib’s glass of soda and spilled it on his shirt. The winter was cold, and Dib felt colder as the winter wind cut through his drenched body.
Still, Dib had let time froze long enough to behold Gaz’s second laughter.
…a foreign noise entered Dib’s ears. A girl’s laughter. Dib backhanded his limp hair and saw that Gaz was smiling and laughing at him.
…Gaz was smiling and laughing at him.
If only time could be controlled. Dib knew that sometimes he would miss moments like this. If only he could stop time so Gaz would stay smiling in endless bliss.
So, he’ll live every second for that moment to come.
The night was so cold. Dib wished that it was warmer.
The 12-year-old boy slithered down the sofa and landed with a gymnastic finish. Iridescent lights shimmered in their last triumph before his command reduced them to a black static. He smiled at the silent TV.
His shadow dripped on the walls as he walked to the kitchen. The night was too cold now that a tasty thought filled his huge head. He licked his lips in expectation. This silent night was a ceasefire he had came to relish. He even made himself a cup of coffee to celebrate it. He stirred the water and let the spoon knock against the cup. Steel against ceramic, silver against pristine white, all entwined in a strange lullaby echoing into the night.
He pressed the cup to his lips, willing its heat to flow into him. The coffee sure was tasty. Each gulp brought him a sense of release, followed by a drawn breath. The night was cold and tranquil, but who cares? He exhaled out a cloud again.
Dib polished his glasses. He couldn’t wait any longer. He snatched a nearby box into his trench-coat pocket and made his way into Gaz’s room.
Gaz was asleep on her bed, her amethyst-coloured hair embracing her white pillow. Dib treaded and breathed slowly, not letting his presence known. The cold night gave him a stab at the back of his neck. Gaz turned her head to his side, eyes closed, face graced by moonlight. She was still sleeping. That was what he needed.
Dib approached the corner of the bed. Tonight, Dib is warming up to Gaz. He’d done his sacrifices. Under her blanket, Dib slipped his offering:
A new game for her handheld game Game Slave 2.
He hoped that she would like it.
Dib wanted a comrade in his fight for Earth, and a sister was given to him. She was a bright star adorned by darkness. To Dib and his father, she was a star that would shine at the darkest of places.
His father agreed more on this. Each time he called for this children, he would look at her and would not look at him. His father, Skoolchildren, everybody. They were not looking at him. They were looking at her, who is the brightest star.
He didn’t mind, though.
Snow kept falling and he was still left behind. Dad praised Gaz a lot, and gave her words of acknowledgement, while he was his poor insane son.
He didn’t mind, though.
She was a fine sister, he knew. She’s the only one he had in the world. He had no friends and no other family members. His dad was a workaholic.
All he needed was an ally in his war against the alien threat. A comrade in his fight for humanity and nothing else. At least he had someone who believed what he saw, life is fair…
Even though everyone looked not at him, but looked at her. The shining star next to him.
What should he do to save the world?
Tell me more about it, shining star!
Miracles in December
Gaz sat on the couch, playing the new handheld game she found at the edge of her bed, sealed with a bow. She enjoyed the game. In fact, any engaging, challenging game would get her hooked instantly. It was a decent recent release after all.
The game was paused.
Gaz got off the couch and stretched out her arms. She looked at the time. It was 12 AM already. The house was empty, and the snow never stopped falling.
Gaz went upstairs and slipped into her cutesy pyjamas. Now she looked like a walking irony.
A faint knocking was heard at the door. Then the door swung open, which wasn’t surprising since the door wasn’t locked. Gaz crept slowly out of the room with a baseball bat behind her back. A mostly black figure stood crouching before the door. It lifted its head and groaned under its breath. Its eyes glinted, reflecting a round beam like a full moon. With its hands gripping the doorknob, it spoke: “What’s with that baseball bat?”
“So it’s just you, Dib.” Gaz sighed and dropped her baseball bat to the floor.
“It’s a miracle that I survived!” Dib said feverishly, his excited face marked by cuts. “Gaz! Do you know what that alien scum Zim had done? When I spied into his house, the gnomes seemed to be inactive. I was nearly fooled, but then–”
“Silence, Dib. You can’t ruin this day with that stupid alien-related escapade of yours.”
“No, Gaz, listen! Suddenly, an electrostatic thingy–”
“Enough! Dib! I’ve had enough of your noise!” Whipped up in blind rage, Gaz pushed her brother out of the house and slammed the door shut. Dib tried to get in, but the door was locked in his face.
Even when she continued to play with her handheld game, she could hear Dib pounding on the door:
She took a glance at the door. The winter wind was blowing again.
Even when she continued to play with her handheld game, she could hear the moan of the winter wind: and nothing else.
The emptiness was smothering her. The winter wind moaned again, crying into the night. Each snow drop was a fallen tear drop. Gaz focused her mind on the fantastic graphics of the game, but the thought of the game itself smothered her more. What had befallen Dib was his fault and his fault alone. Why should she let the emptiness conquer her? After all, she was colder than winter itself.
Nevertheless, blood is thicker than snow.
Dib could feel something warm and small sliding down his cold skin. He took in a shallow breath and felt something sweet melting on his tongue. It felt good.
“Now you’re awake? I thought you’d been frozen to death!”
Dib was jolted out from his unconsciousness. He was lying on the couch and his mouth was stuffed full with popcorns. On the table in front of him was two bowls of popcorns, adequately buttered. The TV was on.
“Hey, it’s Mysterious Mysteries, Ancient Astronaut special!” Dib stuffed his mouth with more popcorn. “You do make nice popcorns, Gaz.”
“Thank you.” Gaz said monotonously.
“My pleasure.” Dib gave Gaz a pat on the head and beckoned her to eat with him. She sat closer and drank her cola.The two children sat silently, watching Mysterious Mysteries for a ceasefire that comes only once a year. It’s one of the miracles in December.
A.N.: Ryu, if you’re reading it, do drop me a comment below, even if you’re not a fan of EXO. All of the fics are songfics except for ‘Waffenruhe’.