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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: I do not own Invader Zim and its characters. Everything but this specific fan fiction plot bunny is under the ownership of Jhonen Vazquez; dig it!
Author's Chapter Notes:
The motivation behind this is the notion that pretty much any Radiohead song can be applied to Dib's life and fit perfectly with it. ;)

I hope that you have seen IZ before and that's why you're reading this. If not, that's perfectly okay...but please don't give me any "dislike" business over "Skool" as that's how the word "school" is stylized in the series.
I’d tell all my friends, but they’d never believe me, They’d think that I’d finally lost it completely.
- Subterranean Homesick Alien
*~*

His ears twitched, alerted by the unpleasant sound of some sort of sloshing liquid – something distinctly “gloopy” like the contents of a week old MacMeaty’s burger. Immediately, his eyes darted about the surrounding area in search of a source for the disturbing noise, and it was almost out of sheer habit that his gaze found Zim.

“Putrid stink-beasts!” The aforementioned green youth spat vehemently. Sploosh! Sploosh! Dib cringed at the return of the revolting sound. “They will rue the day their retched planet adapted a weather system that burns the flesh of Zim! RUE IT!”

Dib Membrane, unable to stifle his curiosity for all things seemingly paranormal, allowed his abnormally large head to peak out from the edge of his seat into the aisle-way. A few seats back from his own, Zim could be found, muttering angrily to himself as he smothered all visible bits of verdant flesh in a white paste. Dib’s eyes narrowed in disbelief at the sight. I-Is that glue?

Just as he parted his lips, fully intent upon voicing his mental query, another person beat him to the punch. “Zim,” a bubbly voice interjected. Dib could not see who was speaking, but he had a pretty good idea based upon the chipper inflection of the word. “Can I have my paste back now?”

Zim, thoroughly annoyed at having his diabolical monologue cut short, snarled at the very question. His hand, which contained the nearly empty container of glue, recoiled sharply before sailing forwards in the direction of the adjacent seat. “SILENCE, DIRT CHILD!” he hissed, his forked tongue sibilant and threatening, as the PASTE container soared across the aisle.

“Ow, my eye!” The other, ultimately unidentified speaker screamed as something presumably made painful contact with one of his many ghastly face orifices. There was not a moment’s hesitation after the initial contact before this person spoke again. “Thanks, best friend!”

Dib’s gaze drifted to the grayscale scenery blurring by outside of his window. He rested his head against the cool glass and the muscles in his neck and shoulders were undoubtedly relieved at the shift in weight. He, with his beady black eyes and pursed lips, tried to lose himself in the simplicity of falling rain drops, but his racing mind would not allow it. It was always like this, wasn’t it?

Keef, whilst arguably the most extreme case, was otherwise a prime example of his Skool’s ignorance. Here he had just witnessed such an abnormal sight – a green skinned extraterrestrial, maladjusted to Earth’s climate, was coating his body in paste for weather protection – and all he could stand to do was smile and mourn the temporary loss of his glue.

Dib could recall a time in SKOOL, before he had suffered through puberty, when he had first discovered Zim’s H2O affliction (a fiasco so disastrous that it had resulted in the flooding – or “wettening” of the entire city). People had ignored it then just as they had now.

Why was it that nobody was willing to accept the truth when it was right under their noses? What was the point of exposing the paranormal if people continued to refute the facts, to take a step outside their small, na´ve little worlds? Dib sighed despairingly. Perhaps it might be better to ignore the obvious, just to avoid the torment of his ornery peers for a change?

It was not long after he had settled on the security of staying silent that the words came pouring out, quite like the projectile vomit one experiences after having one too many Brain Freezies, and Dib found himself standing on his crusty leather seat, pupils swelled and index finger pointed defiantly at Zim.

“Look, everyone! ZIM’S AN ALIEN! HIS BODY CAN’T ACCLIMATE TO THE MOISTURE OF OUR CLIMATE AND SO HE’S APPLYING PASTE TO HIS SKIN TO SURVIVE !”

There was a deafening silence on the bus as the rest of the occupants of the dilapidated Skool bus looked back and forth between the two “freaks”, expressions of pure skepticism evident on every face.

Zim’s eyes darted frantically about the area. He looked not quite like a deer in headlights, but rather like one of the hobos he had caught rummaging around in his garbage with G.I.R. last night. He took several seconds to regain his composure before addressing the issue. “Foolish Dib-stink! This is clearly ointment for my skin condition – which is normal – I AM NORMAL!!”

Zim’s outburst was all their peers needed to dismiss the paranormal claims. A rather large classmate of theirs hurled a large wad of paper at Dim’s head in response. “Stop making fun of the disabled kid, you jerk,” the herculean beast of a teenaged-boy grunted.

“Disabled?” Dib blinked at the accusation. “But he’s not – A skin condition is not – you people are blind - HE’S AN ALIEN!!” He sputtered out, accompanied by a plethora of excitable, sporadic hand gestures. “

Hey!” Another kid, seated more towards the back of the bus quipped. The only noticeable aspect of the anonymous kid’s appearance was the fact that he had on cool black shades despite the lack of sunshine.

“Are you makin’ fun of the blind kid now too, Membrane?” The same meaty male from before questioned, accompanied by a violent shake of his fist.

Several other kids began to chime in, assaulting Dib’s morals and incredibly disfigured head as Zim cackled in delight. The Irken invader was quite satisfied at having been able to turn the situation around yet again and make Dib look bad in the eyes of their adolescent society.

Dib groaned as he slumped dejectedly in his seat. These people were so easily swayed – so incredibly dense – that it pained him to be in their presence! They were so woefully uptight about everything, whether it be accepting paranormal facts or “disabled” kids, that Dib almost would have preferred the company of more aliens like Zim. Almost. Yet, befriending aliens was not an option for the great Dib Membrane: Hero of Earth, and so all he could hope for instead was at least the companionship of another bright enough to see through Zim’s faulty disguise.

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