"These two are assholes, but rather then turn them into these fake, altered, lovable characters people normally portray them as, I decided to just run with their regular attitudes. Clearly, and while this is in no way meant to be rude or insulting, you prefer the latter and I respect that, but that isn't how I'm writing them."
— The author in response to a review, referring to the main couple.
My Hostage, Not Yours is a series of Invader Zim stories on Fan Fiction Net by RavenFollower13.The first story is set several years after the events of the canonical series, and Zim's official banishment to Earth, with the characters (the human ones, anyway) now teenagers and in High Skool. The plot kicks off when Gaz discovers a crashed Irken ship and becomes attached (literally) to an Irken device called a LEECHY. Zim forces her to keep it secret while he tries to find a way to remove it, for her own safety. However, as an old enemy of the Irkens' conspires to take the LEECHY by force, Zim and Gaz find themselves growing closer.The second story, My Hostage, Not Yours 2: The Revenge of Player 2, takes place seven months later: Gaz and Zim are officially a couple, and Zim and Dib are more or less friends. However, their peace is shattered when a hitman nearly kills Dib. Iggins, Gaz's onetime rival, is back for revenge, and he plans on making her suffer by going through her loved ones. But he may have underestimated Gaz — and how far Zim will go to protect her.The third (and final) story, My Hostage, Not Yours 3: The Inevitable Takeover, skips ahead about another year-and-a-half. When Zim discovers that he only has three months to conquer Earth or die, Gaz convinces him to finally get to work and take over. But Dib isn't going to go down without a fight. Victory may be easy, but keeping that victory may be much, much harder.The series is highly regarded by its readers, in no small part due to being able to keep the personalities of the characters nearly identical to that of the canon, providing a well written example of a popular pairing, a writing style that leaves you wanting more, and of course, its fast and consistent updates.
This series provides examples of:
The Ageless: After their marriage — and being given permission by the Tallest — Zim gives Gaz a chemical formula (the Pill) which halts her aging process, and boosts her immune system beyond human standards, so she can live as long as himnote Apparently, this is common for Irkens who take non-Irken mates. Notably, this comes with a warning about outliving your loved ones, but it's ignored.
Then, near the end of the series, Gaz force feeds another Pill to Dib, so that he can live long enough to be with Tak.
Amnesiac Dissonance: Gretchen's family's nameless amnesiac maid is a kind, soft spoken person. Then she remembers that she's actually Tak, and changes into a harsh bitch. Everyone is shocked by the change.
Badass in Distress: Gaz, despite being the strongest fighter in these stories, gets captured at least once in each:
Hostage: She lets the Valkians take her prisoner in order to both get rid of the LEECHY and protect Dib and Zim; she probably could have escaped her cell on her own, but it's highly unlikely she would have gotten off their ship alive if Zim hadn't saved her.
Revenge: Iggins manages to use a Mind-Control Device on her, so Dib and Zim have to save her again; though in the end, she breaks free from the device and ends up saving Zim's life.
Takeover: During the initial stages of Zim's conquest, she gets kidnapped by a group of hired thugs; subverted, though, since Zim himself hired the thugs to get Gaz away from the government officials who were going to use her as leverage, so she was never in any danger.
Badass Cloak: Around the same time Zim starts wearing his new coat (see below), Gaz adds one of these to her wardrobe. Though in her case, it's more practical than anything; the area they relocate to is colder than where they'd been living.
The Bad Guy Wins: After Zim crushes the minimal resistance from the major world powers, the rest of the world quickly surrenders, leaving Zim the supreme ruler of the Earth.
Badass Longcoat: Dib, of course. And around the time he takes over Europe, Zim starts sporting a(n Irken) military-style coat in addition to his normal outfit.
Badass Normal: Gaz starts out as this, before upgrading to Empowered Badass Normal at the end of Revenge. Then she burns through her powers at the end of Takeover, bringing her back down to (badass) normal.
Dib becomes pretty badass during the last two stories. Arguably, Tak and Zim could count as well — they're not human, but they're normal by Irken standards.
Batman Gambit: How Zim defeats the Valkians: he plays on their honor to secure a deal, Gaz's freedom in exchange for keeping the LEECHY, in addition to all the information stored in his PAK — he just neglects to tell them that the LEECHY is defective and useless, and that his PAK data is corrupted and viral, knowing that by the time they realize it, they'll have already engaged the Irkens in battle, ensuring their defeat.
Big Brother Instinct: Dib is insistent on protecting Gaz, even when he's not in the position to actually be capable of doing so.
Big Screwed-Up Family: Played with — GIR and Minimoose act so much like children, that Gaz actually considers them her and Zim's kids (and it doesn't seem necessary to explain why they're screwed up).
Breaking the Fourth Wall: During one of Zim and Gaz's post-marriage quibbles, the narrative takes a moment to point out to the reader that, yes, they still enjoy nothing more than annoying the hell out of each other. The author's notes at the end of that chapter then lampshades that this is the first time the fourth wall's ever been broken in the series.
Bullying a Dragon: During the climatic final fight of Takeover, several Swollen Eyeball agents pin Gaz down, but instead of just killing her, they mock her first. This triggers her Superpower Meltdown, and they get incinerated for their troubles.
Card-Carrying Villain: Iggins seems very much aware of the fact that he's the bad guy, and acts accordingly. Of course, just about everyone calls him out on the dramatics.
Zim invokes this in Takeover, since the more he acts like a traditional evil invader, the more the world will fear him, and the faster they'll give up.
Cat Fight: Subverted. One of the assassins Iggins sends after Gaz is another teenage girl, but the fight is hardly Fanservice; Gaz leaves the girl bloody and unconscious.
Chekhov's Gun: The Pill. Zim makes two, per standard procedure — one for Gaz, and a backup to study in case things go wrong. In the penultimate chapter of Takeover, Gaz gives this second one to Dib in order to make him immortal as well.
Subverted with the LEECHY. Not only do we never see it get used, but near the beginning of Takeover, Gaz wonders if one is going to be part of the supplies the Tallest send Zim for his conquest. It isn't.
Chekhov's Gunman: Tak is only in a few scenes of Hostage, but later reappears in Takeover, where it's revealed that the Tallest turned her human (mostly) and banished her to Earth for her repeated failures. After this reveal, she then aids the Group in their fight against Zim.
Her appearances in Hostage may qualify as this; she briefly appears via a transmission at the beginning, when she's mysteriously attacked (which causes her ship and the LEECHY to crash to Earth), and near the end it's revealed that it was the Valkians who attacked and captured her.
Clothing Damage: During Gaz's Superpower Meltdown (see below), her clothes burn off completely. Fortunately for her modesty, Zim gives her his coat (Irken clothing being fire-resistant, apparently) before the flames are extinguished and she's exposed.
Continuity Nod: There are plenty of references to the canon series sprinkled throughout the trilogy, mostly just casually dropped in the narration or in conversations.
Practically every fight Gaz is involved in; there are a few scattered throughout the trilogy where her opponent(s) manage to get a temporary advantage over her, for some reason or another, but she always ends up winning.
Zim and Tak fight twice in Takeover, and both times, he owns her. Arguably, this could be a result of Tak's transformation.
Hostage: Gaz is captured by the Valkians, who intend to use the LEECHY to conquer the Irkens.
Revenge: Iggins manages to brainwash Gaz into being his slave, and intends to use her to kill Zim and Dib.
Takeover: Zim and Gaz take control of the Earth; interesting variation, in that it's actually a high point for them, and a Darkest Hour for the other protagonists.
Deadly Upgrade: The LEECHY is designed for Irken biology, and as such nearly kills Gaz a couple of times (this being the primary reason he tries to get it off her).
Death Seeker: Tak has shades of this for a while after her transformation.
Deuteragonist: In Takeover, Dib becomes this to Zim and Gaz's collective protagonist.
Disproportionate Retribution: When Zim ensures the Valkians' destruction, it's partially because they endangered Gaz, but mostly because they accidentally insulted her while she was their prisoner.
Doorstopper: Takeover is more than twice the length of the previous two stories put together.
The Dragon: Skoodge is assigned to Earth by the Tallest to serve as this to Zim.
Though Skoodge is a bit of a subversion, since Zim (and Gaz too, for that matter) is much more of a threat than he is. Really, Skoodge is more of a personal assistant than a Dragon.
And in any case, he's only temporarily assigned to Earth to aid Zim in the initial conquest; once the planet is under Zim's control, he returns to Irk.
Tip and Tine briefly serve as Iggins'Co-Dragons, but only during the climax of Revenge.
According to the series' epilogue, they eventually join Zim's army and are made co-heads of his Intelligence department, which deals with the constant rebellions, so they could probably qualify as his Dragons once Skoodge leaves.
Easily Conquered World: Gaz says that humans as a whole are easily frightened beings who will quickly surrender after a show of force. When Zim begins his conquest, this pans out, as the majority of the population doesn't resist, especially after the governments begin surrendering to Zim's superior technology. Some, however, do resist, such as those that join Dib's "Group".
The Swollen Eyeballs also have no intention of giving up.
Unfortunately, the Group is pathetically ineffective, and the Swollen Eyeballs spend so much time bickering over what to do, that the world surrenders to Zim out of fear, without a fight.
The Swollen Eyeballs still fight though, with their goal now changed from protecting the world to liberating it.
Enemy Mine: Zim working with Gaz and Dib in the first place was this trope, before it evolved into a relationship and friendship (sorta), respectfully.
And in Takeover, Tak ends up working with The Group because she's not strong enough to go after Zim on her own.
Then, when Dib decides to defect from the Swollen Eyeballs in order to avoid fighting his sister, and Tak goes with him, the Eyeballs declare them traitors. So, they find themselves fighting alongside Gaz and Zim during the Final Battle.
Tip and Tine served as Iggins' Dragons in Revenge, then join the Group in Takeover. Justifiable, though, by the fact that when they fought against Zim, Dib, and Gaz, it was nothing personal — in fact, they (especially Tine) seem to admire Gaz, and enjoy working with her.
At least until he finds out her motives — he doesn't condone it, but he understands.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Gaz and Zim truly love each other, and Gaz also does care about her brother and father. In Takeover, she makes sure to plant trackers on them, and even plays a role in helping Dib form a rebellion, in order to make sure they stay safe.
And Iggins' stepfather, despite being a mob boss, clearly loves his stepchildren. To the point that when Gaz threatens to kill them if Iggins comes after her again, he promises to keep it from happening not that Iggins was in any position to threaten her again, anyway.
Even Evil Has Standards: Zim refuses to have sex with Gaz until they're officially married. It would have been consensual anyway, but he apparently stands by the principal of honoring her people's customs towards the matter.
This is especially poignant since, according to Tak, Irken custom dictates that they're not officially a couple until they've mated. This means that Zim's putting his respect for Gaz and her heritage ahead of his own — quite a move for a narcissistic sociopath like Zim.
Zim is apparently also disgusted by the concept of abortion, of all things. Yes, Irkens are apparently pro-lifers. Go figure.
It's a cultural thing. Irkens don't prevent their smeets from being born, giving them a chance to prove their competence/stupidity in adulthood before killing them. Thankfully the author does not spend much time on this point beyond the culture explanation.
Evil Mentor: Inverted. Tine admires Gaz and emulates her when she can (she even makes herself a sword modeled after the one Gaz changes her necklace into), but Gaz never advises or mentors her. In fact, Gaz doesn't even like her — she can stand her, but that's not the same as liking her.
Gaz also apparently feels that Tip has more potential that Tine, but again, she never mentors him.
Face-Heel Turn: As pointed out elsewhere on this page, Gaz was never a good person. However, this is what her decision to side with Zim is viewed as in-universe.
Subverted example: Dib defects from the Swollen Eyeballs at the end of Takeover, not because of this trope, but because he doesn't want to fight his sister. However, the Eyeballs don't see it that way, and declare him a traitor.
Fatal Flaw: Both Tak and Gaz recognize pride as theirs.
Fate Worse than Death: What Gaz ultimately does to Iggins. She beats him within an inch of his life, and so heavily traumatizes him that a passing reference in Takeover says that he ended up in an asylum.
Arguably, what the Tallest do to Tak for letting herself get captured by the Valkians — they change her into a human, then dump her on Earth. Considering how much she dislikes humans, this seems to qualify.
Faking the Dead: During the attack on Iggins' base, Zim pretends to be vaporized by Tip and Tine, so he can sneak up on Iggins.
Foreshadowing: During Takeover, Gaz has a nightmare that she loses control of her pyrokinesis. During the climax, her rage at the Swollen Eyeballs causes this to come to pass, before Zim is able to talk her down.
Friendly Enemy: Dib and Zim have basically become this by the time Hostage starts — they don't like each other, but they don't openly antagonize each other anymore. Though naturally, they lose the "friendly" bit during Takeover and arguably regain it by the finale.
Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: In Revenge, when Gaz finds out that Iggins' obsession with her is partly inspired by lust, she has a brief BSOD and starts blaming herself for the whole situation. Fortunately, Zim snaps her out of it by pointing out that it's Iggins' fault, not hers, and that she's too Badass to be angsting like that.
And then we get two of these moments in Takeover: first, when Zim realizes he's dying, he's willing to accept it, until Gaz makes it clear that she won't let him die (and the fact that she almost starts crying helps). Later, Tak has a serious BSOD over dealing with her new human emotions, and Dib is only able to get her out of it by insulting her until she snaps and kicks his ass.
Gilded Cage: After Zim takes over Europe, he relocates his headquarters to a royal palace (it's never clarified which); the resident royal family is allowed to stay, and can still order the servants around, but certain areas are made off limits to them (for Zim and Gaz's private use), and they're not allowed to leave the palace grounds unless they intend to do so permanently.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Tak gets an x-shaped scar on her back from having her PAK transplanted inside her body.
As it turns out, those scars are actually the result of Membrane operating on her to remove her memories.
And Gaz gives Dib a small burn scar on his cheek for interrupting her wedding.
Grey and Gray Morality: By the very end of the series, it's hard to say who the "good guys" and "bad guys" are. Zim and Gaz are our protagonists, and are trying to Take Over the World, but they don't seem to be too bad as rulers. Meanwhile, the Swollen Eyeballs are La Résistance trying to liberate the world, but are presented in a villainous light (especially in regards to their methods and ruthlessness).
Half-Human Hybrid: Tak is given skin grafts, increased height, and other changes to make her appear human; her internal biology, however, remains unchanged, as is her reliance on a PAK to survive.
She also apparently still has an Irken lifespan, which seems detrimental to her relationship with Dib — at least, until he's made immortal by the Pill.
Hannibal Lecture / "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gaz gives a brief one to Dib in Takeover when he interrupts her wedding to "save" her from Zim. She points out how, even though Zim's taken over the world, he hasn't destroyed it or made things worse, so defeating Zim wouldn't really change anything. She then adds that "saving" her is just an excuse to strike a blow at Zim, and calls him out for treating her like a prize.
Heroic BSOD: In Revenge, Gaz has a momentary one when she realizes that Iggins doesn't just want to kill her, but is also lusting after her. Zim quickly snaps her out of it, though.
And Dib has one in Takeover after Gaz agrees to "surrender" herself to Zim; he's so upset he doesn't even say goodbye to her, which upsets them both.
He has another, smaller one when he discovers that she was working with Zim the whole time.
Heroic Sacrifice: Non-fatal example in Hostage: Gaz lets the Valkians take her prisoner, in order to keep them from killing Dib and Zim.
She also invokes this trope (again, non-fatally) in Takeover; as per their plan, after she helps Dib set up a resistance (in order to ensure his safety), Zim tells them to hand her over or he'll destroy the whole continent. Gaz then "sacrifices" herself by handing herself over to Zim — when, really, this was just an excuse to get back together, while also making Gaz a martyr in the public eye.
Heroic Willpower: While not exactly a "hero", Gaz manages to break free of Iggins' mind control through sheer force of will (though Zim's support helps).
He Who Must Not Be Seen: The Valkian Queen keeps herself cloaked and in the shadows at all times, even when in the sanctuary of her ship. It's implied this is part of their culture, as the only time she reveals herself is when she's alone with Gaz, having had her guards leave the room; the second they come back, she covers herself up again.
Hidden Villain: Iggins' identity is kept secret for the first few chapters of Revenge, though it's arguably quite obvious, and at least one reviewer guessed correctly before it was revealed.
Hope Spot: Done to the villains: The Valkian Queen thinks that even with Zim's corrupt PAK data ruining her ships, she can still defeat the Irkens. Then Zim reveals that the LEECHY and the duplicates she made of it are useless. She has time for a quick Oh Crap before the Irkens overwhelm her forces.
Humanoid Aliens: In addition to the Irkens, there's the Valkians (the Queen more so than her Mooks).
Hypocritical Humor: Subverted. When Gaz realizes that Dib is in love with Tak, it at first seems like she's berating him for it. However, she then admits that she's not in a position to judge, considering her relationship with Zim, and is just happy that Dib's happy.
Innocent Fanservice Girl: Tak, sort of after her transformation; she doesn't seem to quite understand human views on shame.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In a purely non-romantic example, Membrane doesn't oppose to Gaz marrying Zim (even giving her away) because he wants to make up for being a bad father, and for his daughter to be happy. Also, once Dib gets the message that Gaz truly loves Zim — that it's not a passing fling or brainwashing — he backs off (though he does BSOD over it).
This then gets inverted (but remains platonic) when Gaz finds out about Dib's feelings for Tak; she doesn't approve, but wants him to be happy so she gives him the Pill, so that he can have a long life with her.
Karmic Transformation: As punishment for the humiliation of letting herself be captured by the Valkians, the Tallest have Tak subjected to surgery that changes her into a human (more or less; see Half-Human Hybrid above).
Lady Macbeth: Gaz is the one who convinces Zim to finally conquer Earth, and even comes up with the bulk of their plan (though he works out plenty of details on his own along the way).
La Résistance: When Zim begins his conquest of Earth and the governments begin surrendering, Dib starts calling in friends and contacts to form a rebellion that titles itself "The Group" (Gaz doesn't think much of the name).
The Group more or less falls apart after their first real mission (attacking Zim's fortress during his wedding to Gaz) fails. The Swollen Eyeballs, however, appear to still be resisting, and forcibly draft Dib and Tak into their ranks.
The Eyeballs ultimately fail and are locked away, but according to the epilogue, rebellions continue to pop up all over the world (which Zim predicts will never really stop). However, none of them seem to be as much of a threat as the Eyeballs, and Zim and Gaz just deal with them when necessary.
Light Is Not Good: When captured by the Valkians, Gaz is forced to wear a white dress that, combined with her natural skin tone, makes her look like "some kind of moon beam". Considering who we're talking about, it's quite misleading. And she hates it.
And let's not forget her wedding gown — again, she's all in white, which is misleading from her personality. Especially since, by this point, she's gone from Anti-Hero to Villain Protagonist.
Locked Out of the Loop: Poor Dib keeps ending up on the receiving end of this, since Gaz and Zim don't want him involved in what they view as their private business (the LEECHY in Hostage, Iggins' vendetta in Revenge). He's never happy when he finds out.
Love Makes You Evil: Gaz was never a nice person, but when she learns that Zim has to conquer Earth or die, she doesn't think twice before deciding to help him take over.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Lampshaded and averted. When it's revealed that Membrane and Tak know each other, Dib assumes that means that Tak is his mother. Membrane tells him that that's ridiculous, and the author explains that that conversation was put in merely to disprove a theory she knew the readers were thinking.
Mars Needs Women: Between Gaz siding with Zim, and Tak's cover story of having been abducted, the Swollen Eyeballs conclude that this is why the Irkens are interested in Earth.
Mayfly-December Romance: Irkens have a much longer life expectancy than humans, so this trope gets brought up in regards to Zim and Tak's relationships with Gaz and Dib until the latter two take the Pill, and have their lifespans exponentially increased.
Misanthrope Supreme: Aside from her brother and father (and them only just barely) Gaz can't stand other humans. Therefore, she doesn't even hesitate to throw the human race under the bus to help Zim.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Professor Membrane has apparently known the truth about Zim and Tak and the other aliens for a while, but has been pretending not to in order to avoid dragging Earth into an interstellar war.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We don't actually see any of Zim's conquest of Earth (mostly because the governments just start surrendering), but at the very least he does attack Washington as a demonstration — and we only see the aftereffects.
During said fight in Washington, Gaz ends up fighting Zim (in order to build up her public image), leaving Dib to fight GIR — who happens to be piloting a Humongous Mecha. Sadly, the scene focuses entirely on Zim and Gaz, so we don't get to see how Dib survives the fight, or how he manages to convince GIR to blow the mech up.
When the Group interrupts Zim and Gaz's wedding, the narrative focuses entirely on Dib and Gaz's conversation. We therefore miss out on Tak fighting Zim, and whatever other actions the Group were taking.
Pet the Dog: At the end of Takeover, Gaz gives Dib the Pill, in order to insure that not only does she not outlive him, but he'll also have a lifespan that enables him to be in a relationship with Tak.
Earlier, when Dib realizes that Gaz doesn't want to be "saved" from Zim and loses his motivation to fight back, she tells him to go home, promising to make their father go as well, so that he actually has a home to go to.
Tak has one of these moments during her last interaction with Gretchen, where she gives her some advice to help her get on with her life. Interestingly, this is following a KickThe Dog, where Tak used her relationship with Dib to mock Gretchen.
Redshirt Army: Zim's army is a literal example, as their uniforms are modeled after his own.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ironically, despite being the titular character in Revenge, Iggins isn't the one doing this. Instead, it's his near murder of Dib that triggers one from Gaz. And then, during the climax, he nearly kills Zim, which pushes Gaz into Extreme Melee Revenge mode.
Robot Me: At one point during Hostage, Membrane has to go to Australia for a business trip, and for some reason brings his kids along. Since Gaz can't afford to have the LEECHY away from Zim's base for the amount of time the trip would take (and doesn't want to explain to Dib why she can't go), Zim creates a robot duplicate of her that can go on the trip and that she can control remotely to keep up the illusion. And it works, initially.
Schedule Slip: The stories get updated almost every day, but occasionally it takes a little while longer (mind you, compared to most stories on FFN, it's hardly that much of a wait).
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Dib eventually quits the Swollen Eyeballs when he realizes that if he stays, he'll end up having to fight his sister. Tak comes along with him, because she's falling in love with him (plus, he's the only human she can stand).
And Iggins apparently feels that being the stepson of a mob boss puts him above the law.
Shapeshifter Mode Lock: A minor example — MIMI is locked into her cat form by the Tallest after Tak is turned human.
Shipper on Deck: Played with. Tip and Tine ship Dib and Tak, but only to mess with Gretchen.
MIMI seems to ship Tak and Dib, because she sees that they're attracted to each other and is following the logical course of action for it.
Shirtless Scene: Dib gets one during a training scene in Takeover; it should be noted that this only happens after he and Tak realize they're attracted to each other.
The Sociopath: The author describes Zim and Gaz as a pair of sociopaths — however, since they genuinely love each other, Gaz genuinely loves her family, and they both care about GIR and Minimoose (her more so than him), it would seem they don't quite fit the qualifications for this trope.
On the other hand, they both get their kicks out of tormenting others, which is pretty sociopathic behavior.
Stalker with a Crush: Surprisingly enough, Iggins. He alternates between wanting to kill Gaz and being jealous of her being with Zim. When he manages to brainwash her into being his drone, there's some very disturbing implications for he what he plans to do with her.
And to a lesser extent, there's Gretchen — as per usual for the fandom, her canonical crush on Dib is jacked up into this trope. Dib is aware of it, and it creeps him out.
In Takeover, the Group infiltrates Zim's fortress in order to interrupt his and Gaz's wedding in order to save her. But since she doesn't want to be saved, it doesn't go as well as the previous example.
Then there's a literal example when the Swollen Eyeballs launch an assault on Zim's European base of operations, which happens to be an actual castle.
Superpower Meltdown: During the Final Battle of the series, Gaz completely loses control of her powers. Zim eventually talks her down but it seems her power got completely used up in the process.
Supervillain Lair: Zim's underground base, naturally. Then, in Takeover, he trades it in for a huge high-tech fortress.
Iggins also tricks his stepfather into building one for him by pretending it'll be a public gaming site, when really he just wanted a place to have an epic showdown.
Zim gets a second one about two-thirds of the way through Takeover, when he converts a European palace into his base for that continent.
Swiss-Army Weapon: Gaz's skull necklace is actually a prototype device she stole from her father's lab as a kid which can change into just about anything. She once used it as a lock pick, but mostly changes it into weapons.
Time Skip: The series starts about five years after the canon show ended. Then there's a seven month skip between Hostage and Revenge, and another of about a year-and-a-half between Revenge and Takeover.
Took a Level in Badass: Zim is much more threatening now than he was in canon. He actually managed to earn the Tallests' respect!
Dib also takes a few levels in the latter two stories. Gaz, meanwhile, was already badass, and just keeps going from there.
Two Lines, No Waiting: In Takeover, the narrative is pretty evenly split between Zim and Gaz's plans to conquer the Earth, and Dib's (and later Tak's) efforts to stop them.
Training from Hell: Gaz puts Dib and Zim through video game-style combat training in order to get them used to fighting Iggins his way. And she's not gentle about it.
Unholy Matrimony: By the end of Hostage, Zim has claimed Gaz as his "sahlm" (the Irken word for "mate"). During Takeover, he decides to officially propose to her in order to honor the customs of her people.
Hell, he even kidnaps a priest to perform the ceremony and a designer to custom make Gaz's wedding dress!
The two of them actually seem to enjoy celebrity status in America, while the rest of the world openly dislikes them.
What Could Have Been: Following the conclusion of Takeover, the author posted a bonus chapter containing scenes that were removed from or altered for the series.
What Happened to the Mouse?: The Group members (aside from Dib and Tak, who get drafted by the Swollen Eyeballs) just sort of disappear after their first (and final) mission fails.
There's also the European royal family whose palace Zim takes as his own; after their initial appearance, they never show up again. Lampshaded during the Swollen Eyeballs' attack — Dib pauses to wonder what happened to them, and then decides that it doesn't matter.
This might also qualify as an Aborted Arc, seeing as the author brought in the youngest members of the family (two teenagers and a little girl) as people Gaz can torment/interact with while Zim's busy conquering and ruling the world.
As for the Group, Gretchen at least shows up during the epilogue, where her storyline (at least as far as this story is concerned) gets wrapped up. Meanwhile, Tip and Tine are revealed to have eventually joined Zim's army as heads of Intelligence.
"Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The latter third or so of Takeover's epilogue (the rest having tied things up) explains what the main characters do after everything's finished and settled into a new status quo.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Zim warns Gaz about this when he gives her the Pill, but she doesn't really start thinking about the ramifications until afterwards.
Which then becomes a moot point when she gives Dib the Pill as well, so she won't be outliving him.