Camp Cramp
An Invader Zim fanfiction by Elvis-Stitch

Publish date: 16 September 2011
Completion date: TBA
Rating: T (PG-13) - mild coarse language; mild violence


When the annual school camping trip takes place, Zim and Dib are forced to share a cabin. Although disgusted by the very idea at first, Dib wonders why Zim has been acting stranger than usual during the course of the week and he concludes that Zim is no doubt hiding something deep, dark and troublesome enough to bother the alien himself. When Dib discovers what it is, a drastic conclusion is made, and finally he realizes that Irkens and humans are not so different after all and that even those that are seemingly emotionless harness feelings within. ZADF (No ZADR).


Hurt; Comfort; Angst; Compassion; Friendship; Humour; Trust; Anger; Acceptance

Possible Song Themes (If you're a music nut like me and relate music to things you love):

Friend or Foe/How Soon is Now - t.A.T.u;
Truly (Wish Buddah Radio Edit)/Fallen – Delerium;
Street Spirit - Radiohead
Pure Morning – Placebo (only somewhat)

*Any fanart for this story you can find at metros2soul on deviantART. If some is created, I will post in the authors notes. I hope you enjoy the story. No negative reviews or flames please.

Chapter 1

"Hey, get up. It's Monday."

Dib groaned and opened his eyes, raising a hand to block out the beam of sunlight filtering through his window. He reached for his glasses and placed them on, his blurred vision adjusting to reveal Gaz leering over him.

"What, did you over sleep again?" she smirked, before turning to leave. "You'd better hurry up, you've got half an hour till skool. "

Going back to being immersed in her GameSlave, she left the room. Dib sat up, rubbing his eyes.

"Stupid alarm…" he muttered, slamming a fist on top of it.

This was the second time this week it hadn't gone off. Realization dawned on him as he remembered what time of year it was and he threw aside his sheets to madly dash about his bedroom, grabbing a duffel bag from his closet and shoving his clothes and laptop into it, as well as his camera and a few spare notebooks and pencils. With the entire grade leaving for a week to Camp Cramp (of Doom) he would no doubt have plenty of opportunities to spy on Zim. Maybe even capture and expose him for the evil alien beast that he was! Dib couldn't help but give a wide grin as he made his way into the shower, before brushing his teeth and pulling on his usual attire, afterwards downing a quick breakfast and heading out to walk the short distance to skool with Gaz, duffel bag slung over his shoulder.

Typical of every other day, Dib began to muse, much to the annoyance of his sister.

"I wonder if Zim's remembered what's happening today," he smirked. "Probably not!"

Gaz let out a low growl. "I am one level from finishing this game, Dib… you'd better be quiet."

Dib rolled his eyes slightly, as they finally approached the daunting building.

"I'll see you on Sunday afternoon Gaz!" he called to his sister as he made a beeline for his classroom.

"Don't come back." She responded, leaving her brother to stare after her for a moment or so. Dib just shrugged it off as he dashed away.

Approaching his classroom he looked inside to see that Zita, the Letter M and Torque were the only ones inside. Dib took his seat to the far right of the classroom, pulling out his permission slip from his duffel. At least this one hadn't blown up.

The classroom started to fill up as the rest of his classmates entered and also took their seats. Dib cast a glance towards the vacant seat on the opposite end of his row. Still no sign of Zim yet.

'Maybe he's bludging,' Dib thought glumly as Miss Bitters floated in, spreading an icy draft around the classroom. 'Who knows what could happen if Zim doesn't show up! I'd be stuck away at that stupid camp and he'd be here to do as he pleases! Well I'm not going to let that happen. I'm-'

Dib was jerked out of his thoughts as the green megalomaniacal alien strode in just as Bitters was about to shut the door. He hastily slid into his seat, dropping a maroon coloured duffel with the Irken insignia on the side of it to the floor,and Dib's attention was instantly drawn to it.

What was in that bag?

Excitement sparked from deep within the child's body. Zim wasn't bludging after all! He grinned at the mere thought of being able to keep tabs on the alien after all, but his happy grin turned to a deep scowl as amber eyes met deep blue.

Deep blue? Dib did a double take. Zim had changed his contacts. Dib instantly drew out his notebook and jolted this new (and somewhat elevating) information down. Zim noticed what he was doing, casting his eyes upward before looking towards the teacher. Stupid pig-weasel.

"As you all know, today you leave this horrible place for something even more horrible. Camp Cramp (of Doom) will ensure you're having the most wretched times of your meaningless lives. Too bad it's only once a year, but I savour the time I don't have to put up with your putrid stench. Pass your permission slips forward! If you don't have them, you'll be spending the rest of the week in the underground classroom!"

Dib perked up. A week in the underground classroom? His blossoming grin soon spread to his ears as he noticed a look of horror dawn upon his rival's features. Had he forgotten? Dib smirked at him as he made his way to the front of the classroom, proudly handing over his permission slip while making sure Zim had a clear view of this. He did. Dib leaned towards him as he headed back to his desk.

"What's the matter, space-boy? Did you forget something?"

Zim gave him a death glare, before closing his eyes and reaching behind him to his PAK, drawing out a white-folded piece of paper. Dib's jaw dropped, before fury crossed his features. Damn!

"Of course not!" Zim snapped at him, pushing the pesky child aside as he went up to Bitters and handed her his permission slip.

"But he doesn't have any parents!" Dib protested as he made his way back to his seat. "He probably forged it!"

"Nonsense! Of course I have parents! Mom and Dad."

"His parents are robots! Robots can't sign permission slips!"


"BE QUIET! BOTH OF YOU! Dib, Zim will be accompanying you, whether you like it or not!" Bitters snapped at their squabbling.

Dib just sighed and slammed his head into his desk. Oh boy, what a fun week this was going to be. Well, at least he would be able to keep an eye on Zim. He resented the idea of even being near his nemesis, but his nemesis was an alien and Dib would find a way to expose him no matter what it took. He would prove once and for all he wasn't just some insane crazy kid with a big head! He was smart and deserved to be recognized for all his hard work and dedication to protecting the earth! He was DIB.

Zim just sat and unsuccessfully tried to balance a pencil on his mouth.

Suddenly the classroom phone emerged from the hellish pits of the Bitters desk, and she snatched it up, answering the shrieks and grunts of the person on the other end. A minute or so later she slammed it down and it disappeared into the desk again.

"Go children! Go! Your bus is here!"

Dib found it somewhat amusing that Zim still hadn't managed to balance the pencil on his mouth, sniggering at him as he passed him, following the other students out to the front entrance of the skool. Zim snatched up the pencil and shoved it into his desk, before also following the miserable creatures out, duffel bag slung over his shoulder. He was the last one out, and Bitters caught his eye as he exited. They stared at each other for a brief moment or so before Zim quickened his pace and left the building. He shuddered. That human wasn't human.

He rejoined the others, dropping his duffel down as he waited to get on the bus. Dib noticed him from where he was standing off to the side and crossed his arms behind his back. His duffel, along with some of the other students luggage, had already been loaded into the back of the bus. As the bus driver took Zim's bag, Dib distracted the alien.

"I didn't think you'd actually have the brains to pack something, Zim." He taunted.

The alien jerked back from him, sneering. "I'm not that stupid Dib-stink."

"So you admit to being stupid?"

"Since when did I admit to that?"

"Just then!"

"How was me saying I'm not that stu-" Zim cut himself off as he realized what he had just said and a look of rage adorned his features. "HOW DARE YOU!"

Dib started to laugh, but was knocked back to the ground as Zim tackled him.


Zim was cut off through mid-punch when the bus driver picked him up, sparing Dib from having his eye poked out. He struggled and slashed about the air, trying to get free but was too small under the mighty grip of the bus drivers gorilla grasp. Dib grinned up at him.

"That's enough you two, now hurry up and get on the bus!"

Zim scowled as the driver put him down, and he readjusted his wig, glaring at Dib.

"Miserable earth-stench…"


"Pig-smelly of piggy filthiness…"

"Slimy grotesque space slug."

"Wormy squirmy peach thing."

"Wretched stinky– peach thing?"

"SHUT UP AND GET ON THE BUS!" the bus driver roared, and both boys scrambled to get on board. Unfortunately, they were the last two on the bus and the only seats available were at the far back. Zim and Dib equally scowled.

"I'm not sitting beside him! I'll suffocate from his gigantic head of smell releasing its smelliness and taking up all of the oxi-a-gent!"

"Oxygen you moron!" Dib retorted, smacking the alien on the back of the head.


"I didn't touch you!"

"LIES! You touched my superior head!"

"I slapped it you idiot! I would have thought it would knock some sense into you!"

"Touching is not knocking stupid hyooman!"

"SLAPPING you monkey! Slapping!"


The bus driver was at wits end. "SIT DOWN NOW OR I'LL THROW YOU BOTH OUT!"

Both boys fled to the back of the bus, but once they got there, yet another argument broke out as to who would get the window seat.

"I'm sitting there! I'll need to breathe! Your putrid alien stench will kill me!"

"I am a superior being and I shall be sitting there, Dib-filth. Now move!"

"You? Superior being? The only thing YOU'RE superior at Zim is failing!"


"HURRY UP AND SIT DOWN!" the driver roared from the front of the bus. Grumbling, Dib took the passenger side while Zim took the window seat.

Shortly after the bus left the school grounds, the two started arguing about leg room.

"Stop taking my leg space, space-worm!"

"Your legs are too fat and result in your gargantuan head!"

"What does my head have to do with my legs?"

"Fool! Zim never mentioned anything of the sort!"

"You went from my legs to my head!"

"Was it too hard for your primitive brain to understand such a simple question?"

"You didn't ask me a question idiot!"


"I LIE! I mean- WAIT! NO! Geeze. You know what, I'm not listening to you anymore! Just shut up Zim and look out the window, you might actually learn something."

"How can I when your filthy giant head is taking up half of my vision?"

"How can my head be taking up your vision when- oh forget it."



Dib pulled his mp3 out of his pocket and put on his headphones, music soon drowning out the annoying gravelly (and not to mention whiny) voice. They weren't even out of block yet and Dib had already had enough of Zim's incomprehensible logic. About half an hour or so later, Dib snuck a glance towards the Irken. Zim sat with his chin in his hand, looking out of the window. Dib studied him for a moment or so, while he had his head turned. Absentmindedly, Dib looked up towards his hair, just focusing on one spot and staring, and that was when he noticed something slightly out of place. A little twitch that occurred, and the stands of fake hair were stirred. It was very discreet, definitely not noticeable unless up close and in the position Dib was currently in, but it was there.

Curiousity replaced the scowl on the young paranormal investigators face. He leaned forward a little, gaze locked intently on the twitch in Zim's hair. It had stopped for the time being, but then Dib felt that small spark of excitement when it happened again.

The curiousity was overwhelming, and Dib leaned forward as far as he dared. It became obvious what it was now, and Dib felt a twitch in his eye, a small smile perking his lips.

An antenna. Well disguised, and blended into the strands of black hair, but Dib distinguished its form with ease. He wondered if Zim was aware of the antenna poking out of his wig, and thought back to their momentary scuffle before. Had it come out from underneath the wig somehow? Dib watched it keenly, how it twitched momentarily, as if Zim was aware of something he wasn't. Listening. Dib longed to know what it was. What the alien heard. What exactly those black stalks did.

Carefully, he raised a hand up to the Irken's head. Zim made no movement from his position at all as Dib drew closer to the appendage. He wondered if it was sensitive and just how sensitive it was. Finally his finger was mere inches away from the alien feature. The antenna twitched more, slightly raising from is flattened position, as if aware his finger was there. Dib swallowed. Just a little bit further and he'd be able to feel it. His finger started to shake as he was about to make contact, the tiny gap closing.

"Dib, get your filthy finger away from my head." Came a low, disgruntled voice.

Dib whipped his hand back in complete shock. He hadn't even touched it and Zim knew. Somehow he knew. He knew what Dib was doing, and hadn't even moved a muscle to turn and look at him.

The child let out a breath. Incredible.

He'd have to look further into this. Eagerly, while the alien had his back turned, Dib pulled out his notebook and pen from inside his trench coat and jolted down notes.