Back down in the kitchen meanwhile, both Rose and Jack sat at the kitchen table discussing something in private until the sound of frantic screaming coming from upstairs had the both of them jumping up from their spots with a start.
Spitting out the coffee he had been drinking, Jack flashed Rose a worried look before then running up the stairs with her to the bedroom Zim was in. “What is it?! What's wrong?!” he asked as he and Rose barged into the room without a second thought.
Noticing Zim sitting up in the bed alone, Rose looked about the room before returning her gaze back to the shell-shocked Zim. “Wh-Where is Dib?!” she asked when she realized the hybrid wasn’t there. None of them had even noticed that the boy had left the house over an hour ago.
Eyes wide and frantic, Zim now appeared paler than he had been before drifting off to sleep. “I-I don't know! I woke up and he was gone!” he said, gaze fixed upon the empty bed sheets next to him.
Not wanting to jump to any conclusions about Dib’s whereabouts, Rose quickly went to check some of the other rooms in the house for him, coming back a minute later when she couldn’t locate him. “He's not in the house. Jack, we have to find him!” she looked at her husband with just the tiniest hint of panic in her own expression now.
“Don't worry! Don't worry! I'll take the car and I'll find him! Everything will be okay.” Jack tried to reassure both Rose and Zim as he turned to head downstairs so he could grab his car keys.
Eyes still wide with shock, Zim could only remain sitting where he was, his entire body shaking. “It's my fault...I-I shouldn't have forced him to do this...He hates me...” he clutched at the bed covers tightly, his breathing becoming more and more labored by the second as he felt as though his throat was tightening up, making it impossible for him to catch his breath or settle his pounding heart.
Noticing Zim's breathing beginning to grow increasingly shaky, Rose turned to the pale Irken in the bed before attempting to flag his attention towards her. “Z-Zim...? Zim, calm down!” she then approached the bed to place two hands on his shoulders, trying to steady him as she could see he was on the verge of an anxiety attack. “Calm down and breathe, Zim. Jack will find him.” she said in a desperate attempt to calm him down.
Zim couldn't seem to do either of those things though as he saw the room beginning to spin before his eyes. “I-I can't...He hates me…He didn't want to go…Now he's left a-and...and...Ohhh...” he groaned out when the dizziness finally began to overwhelm him, his eyes closing before he fell over unresponsive.
“Zim!” Rose took a seat on the edge of the bed and gave him a little shake to try and rouse him. “Zim, please wake up! Please wake up!” she checked him for a pulse, wanting to make sure he was still breathing before calling downstairs for the medical drone.
Entering the room about thirty seconds later, the medical drone approached the bed close to where Rose was currently located. “What happened?” he asked, kneeling down by the bed so he could take over for Rose, checking Zim's vitals.
“He was having trouble breathing. Then he just passed out!”
Continuing his examination of Zim, the medical drone pulled away after a moment. “Well, he's breathing fine now. I think he just had a panic attack. Everything else seems to be functioning well enough though, so just stay with him until he wakes up and then I'll check him over again.” he said, not certain what more he could do for the other at this point.
Meanwhile, from downstairs in the kitchen, Jack could hear all the commotion coming from upstairs as he finally located his car keys, pulled on his jacket, and made his way to the front door. Opening the door to head on out, it was at that moment that he bumped into a very familiar-looking, black-haired teenager. “D-Dib?!” he stared down at the hybrid with wide eyes.
Having fallen back at the impact, Dib sat up slowly in his spot, a plastic bag of items hanging from his arm.
“Dib!” Jack said again, pulling the hybrid up into a warm embrace and leading him back inside the house before closing the door behind them. Pulling away just as quickly, he then gave the frazzled teen a rough shake. “Where on Earth have you been, Dib?! You had us worried sick about you!” he raised his voice louder than he should have. Jack wasn't usually one to get mad. But in this case, he couldn't help but blow up just a bit on the other for having left without telling them where he was going.
A little thrown off guard by the sudden yelling, Dib could only shrink down somewhat with wide, fearful eyes, not having expected anyone to even notice he was gone during that time. “I-I'm sorry!” his antennae drooped down low, body trembling slightly as he sank back down to the floor with his knees pulled up to his chest.
Able to hear Jack’s yelling from downstairs, Rose bit her lip, wondering what exactly was going on down there but not wanting to leave Zim’s side until he woke up.
Sighing at Dib’s apology, Jack brought up a hand to press between his eyes, trying to calm himself down before speaking again. “Well, where have you been?” he asked, deciding to start there.
Still a bit shaken, Dib slowly lifted his gaze up to look at Jack. “I-I was just out getting a few things...f-for Zim…” he squeezed his eyes tightly shut, sinking down in his spot just a bit more.
It was only just then that Jack seemed to notice Dib was now dressed in the bunny hood shirt that Zim and Rose had picked out for him at the mall. Jack stared at the hoodie awkwardly for a moment. “Why didn't you just tell us then?” he asked, deciding to ignore what the other was dressed in for now.
“B-Because I wanted it to be a surprise!” Dib clutched the bag of items close to himself, having picked up several things on his trip out of the house.
Jack sighed again at that response. “Well…Next time just tell us when you're leaving, okay?” he said, not certain how much more of this drama he could handle at this point.
Still holding the bag of items close to his chest, Dib merely nodded his head slowly in agreement, having no idea what a panic his leaving had caused upstairs.
Breathing out one final sigh of relief, Jack turned to return his keys and jacket back to the kitchen. “You should go check up on Zim...” he said before walking into said room with hardly a glance back towards the hybrid.
“Wh-Why? What happened? D-Did something bad happen to Zim?!” Dib’s eyes grew perfectly wide as he suddenly made a sprint for the stairs, running up to the room he had left Zim in.
Petting Zim's head comfortingly, Rose sighed to herself as though exhausted. These two were going to end up killing each other with all this stress.
“Zim?!” Dib barged back into the room, eyes wild as they landed on the unconscious Irken. “Oh no...Zim!” he ran up to where Rose and the medical drone were, dropping the bag of items he had brought up with him onto the floor to check Zim for himself. “What happened?! Tell me!” he stared up at Rose with teary eyes, just knowing from the looks on their faces that something bad had happened while he had been out.
“He had a panic attack, Dib...”
“W-Well, is he going to be alright?! Did he hurt himself?!” Dib asked all at once, pulling closer to the Irken and holding him tight.
“I don't know…He just passed out.”
Body trembling, Dib stared down at Zim terrified, his own breathing beginning to grow quick and shallow now also. He hadn't meant for this to happen! Hadn't meant for Zim to get hurt after he had left! Tears streaming down his face now, he pressed his forehead gently to Zim's. “I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I'm sorry...” he repeated over and over again to the other in a quiet whisper before gasping, his eyes squeezing tightly shut suddenly as the muscles in his abdomen tightened up again. “O-Ooow...Ziiim...I'm sorry...” he tried to ignore the sudden cramp he felt within his abdomen in favor of pressing one of his cheeks to the alien's chest.
“Dib? Dib, what's wrong? More false contractions?”
Dib could only clutch tightly to Zim for several long moments, unable to answer at first as the tightness slowly subsided, leaving him panting as he nodded his head slowly. It didn’t matter though. “Z-Zim...” he pulled the alien's limp body into a tight hug. “Please wake up...Please wake up...” he begged in an all too broken voice. He just wanted the other to open his eyes again. “Please...I'm sorry I left...I-I didn't think you would even notice...I-I thought I would be back before you woke up!” he exclaimed before then breaking down completely and sobbing against the Irken's chest.