Author's note: Zim's bad at explaining things and Dib just won't listen... ZaDR :)


Dib rolled off Zim, who shivered at the cold air of his barely used bedroom. The heat from their earlier activities fading away. Zim felt groggy, not used to the amount of energy he'd wasted but oddly satisfied at this strange outcome. The hyuman shifted beside him, warm Erthen arms wrapped round him.

"Zim?" Red eyes shifted lazily towards Dib.

"Hm?" He grunted, too tired to really speak.

"When did you decide you like guys?" Zim scoffed.

"Zim does not lyke guys." He stated and the hyuman shifted more, hazel eyes staring at him.

"Pretty sure you do else what just happened, wouldn't have." Zim's lekku flicked in annoyance... trying to explain something he barely understood to the hyuman who seemed intent on distracting him with glimpses of naked, marked flesh and memories of barely minutes before. He tried to collect his thoughts while pushing aside other ones.

"Irkens don't mate for gender Dib-let, as long as the mate gives them what they desire then the gender or even species does not matter." The hyuman growled and Zim watched confused as he let go and got off the bed. The hyuman speedily dressed and stormed off. Zim blinked in shock, he hadn't said anything offensive... He groaned, rolling over to bury his face in the cool half of his pillow. He didn't understand the hyuman's reaction but he was too drained to go and order him to explain. Zim shifted, pulling his blankets up to his chin. He'd just have to ask him tomorrow once his body had recovered.


Dib flushed, angry at himself. He should have expected it. Zim didn't really know of 'like' yet he'd thought he'd knew of 'love'. He bashed his head against his bedroom wall. Why had he let his hormones control his actions? One second they were fighting in Zim's lab after Dib's stealthy infiltration was spotted and the next Zim was beneath him, skin bare, claws trailing Dib's bare skin as their tongues battled inside each other's mouths. Dib felt a shiver of excitement at the memory, Zim's oddly sweet taste still on his lips. The way Zim had pulled out his name 'Diiiiiiibbbb!" Still gave him shivers. He tried to suppress the feeling. How had things gotten so out of hand? It'd all been okay until Dib had asked Zim for information. He bashed his head once more. The Irken had made him feel like some sort of booty call. He should have known nothing good would come from sleeping with his enemy. Worst still he had to see him tomorrow at Skool. The door to his room swung open, black swirling mist coating the floor.

"I died." Gaz stated, voice cold. "If you bang on this wall one more time," Her eyes opened, settling on Dib's worried ones. "You will be dead." Without waiting for Dib to speak, she left and Dib sank to the floor. How was he going to face Zim tomorrow?


Zim whined as he waited for Dib to appear. He'd been ignored all day at Skool and the hyuman had disappeared instead of taking part in their usual spat. Zim was now waiting near Dib's house to catch the hyuman off guard. He would not be ignored. He didn't even know what he'd done. Zim glanced around for the tell-tale black scythe-lock that foretold of Dib's arrival. He really just wanted to be back at his base so he could remove the itchy wig and contacts that he used for his disguise. Making a memo to himself to alter the disguise to be less itchy, Zim caught sight of his target. He sprung from the bush, luckily Dib was alone or Gaz would have hurt him.

"Dib-thing." The hyuman froze, glaring at him. Zim shifted uneasy. He didn't want a fight. "Why are you ignoring Zim?" Dib blinked and Zim waited for his reply.

"That was my first time Zim and I thought you liked me. I didn't think you would just want me for sex. I won't have that kind of relationship." Zim shook his head.

"Zim never said he wanted the Dib for just sex..." Dib cut him off.

"The whole Irken's don't mate for gender thing." He reminded him. Zim sighed as his Pak supplied him with a pad and pen. He wrote carefully in Irken. Enjoying the familiar lettering, it'd been a while since he'd written in Irken.

"Do you still have Tak's cruiser?" The hyuman growled.

"Why? You're not taking it!" Zim shook his head, acting calm while his insides knotted. The hyuman thought he was playing with him.

"Then search this." Zim handed over the pad, replacing the pen into the Pak. He gave the hyuman one last glance before turning and marching off.


Dib looked down at the paper. One word, in Irken script, was written in the centre of the page. Zim's writing in his native language was far neater than his attempt at Dib's. Sighing, as Zim left his sight, Dib turned and stepped up to the garage. Tak's ship was stored there. Their dad never used it and Gaz didn't care. He stepped inside and climbed into the ship, booting up the search engine. He knew so much Irken, being self-taught and all but this word wasn't like the others he'd seen. When the machine flashed, Dib typed in the word adding for an English translation. The machine bleeped and Dib read the screen.

Mate - An Irken's Mate

Irkens don't choose their mates for gender, looks or species. The only important factor for an Irken is height. Height determines their role in life and in mating. The taller one is more dominant, the smaller submissive. An Irken will only take one mate in their entire lives. If an Irken's mate dies they will never pick another. The chosen mate remains their mate until the Irken is deactivated. Once a mate is chosen an Irken will no longer respond to any other being. Their mates are their entire focus. The Empire, Tallests and their missions pale in comparison to the well-being of their mates. Irkens have been known to disobey or attack anyone who wishes harm to their mate even if they are the Tallests themselves since Irkens are super protective of their mates and all Irkens respect the rules involved. No Irken will touch another's mate even after the other Irken is deactivated. Mating is forbidden by the Empire and punishable by death.

Dib stared at the screen stunned. He fled, making it over to Zim's in record time, bypassing the gnomes and kicking the door down.

"Zim?!" He called.


Zim kicked his legs. He had been sitting in the same position for nearly an hour. He could hear a commotion from above at house level but Gir was out at the moment. He looked up.

"If that's the Dib-hyuman then send him down." The computer huffed and Zim watched as the lift began. He could only guess what the hyuman's reaction would be.

"Zim!" Dib stepped out and Zim stayed where he was on the edge of his bed. He squished down memories from yesterday and focused on the hyuman. "Is what Tak's ship said true?" Zim shrugged.

"It depends on what her cruiser told you." Her 'ship' couldn't actually speak so Zim guessed it was probably an Erth saying. Dib shifted before him.

"It said you mate for life." Zim nodded, embarrassing feelingy things were easier to admit to if you never had to say them yourself. "You can't mate with anyone else." Another nod as Dib took a step closer. "It's completely forbidden." Zim winced at the reminder but nodded. He was in trouble if the Tallests found out. The hyuman stepped closer. "A mate comes first even to your mission." His lekku flicked as he realised. His mission had become impossible, Dib would never give up Erth and so he couldn't destroy it. Zim sighed, nodding once more. Dib stepped closer, knees touching Zim's. Zim looked upwards, eyes catching Dib's. The hyuman leant down, mouth close by his lekku. "Smaller ones must submit to the Taller ones." The Irken shivered as warm breath ghosted over the lekku, it was only really sensitive to sound but the human's heat very tempting. He licked his lips as Dib loomed over him awaiting his reply. Zim shuddered, nodding for hopefully the last time that night. Dib smirked. "I'm your mate?" He asked and Zim whimpered, hands clenching in bed sheets as he kept still, pride still holding out.

"You expect Zim to admit having FEELINGS of LURVE for a PITIFUL hyuman?" He asked and Dib growled. Zim whimpered at the sound and the human's insistence on getting in his face. Hazel eyes filled his view.

"Pitiful?" Dib echoed and Zim shivered at the intensity of the human's gaze, eyes alive with emotion. Every cell in his body was screaming at him to submit, to give in and let last night repeat itself. Zim swallowed, eyes closing on autopilot, head tilting slightly so their lips almost touched. "You sure you want to say that?" He could feel his resistance giving out, pride forgotten as desire over-rode his usual personality. The hyuman seemed to notice and Zim caught the end of a small laugh. "Me or the Empire?" Warm hands settled on his shoulders and Zim shuddered, knowing the hyuman could feel it yet not really caring. He shook his head desperately trying to fight his feelings. He was loyal to the Empire! Zim would never betray them! He could feel warm breath mix with his own. With his mind made up, he opened his eyes and stared right back at Dib's hazel ones. There was only one reply in his mind.

"You." The hyuman smirked and Zim closed his eyes once more.

"Good," Dib purred, warm mouth pressing against Zim's. "Now, let me reward you." Shivering, Zim pressed back into the kiss, Empire forgotten as Dib took over his senses.