Title: Shoot the Star
Summary: Why is there purple paint in your backyard? AU.
A/N: yayy. Another chapter. I'll start responding to reviews in the next chapter cool? I miss doing that o 3o
You blink your eyes awake, vision going blurry as the sunlight shines in through the blinds. Your whole body feels heavy and when you try to move your limbs, you find them tangled up in a heap of blankets and sheets. You curl your fingers into fists and try to fold them against your palms, but that strange tingling sensation, a sensation that's on the borderline of pain and being ticklish, prevents you from clenching them any further. After a minute of your body adjusting, you rub at your eyes and sit up in bed.
After eating dinner last night with your dad, the two of you proceeded in getting the guest room situated, which is the room you're currently in. After that you spent most of your time downstairs in the living room answering your father's questions. It felt as if you were being drilled with a game of 20 questions and you tried to answer his queries the best you could. You told him how you found Gamzee, what he said to you, and basically retold any other detail that your dad could pry out of you. You even described Gamzee's peculiar behavior changing randomly from being pretty sociable to being frighteningly precarious. Your father didn't like the sound of that, asking if Gamzee possibly had some kind of disorder, and you ended up telling him you didn't know you weren't a psychologist.
After the 20 questions charade, you both decided to head upstairs to your respective rooms. Since Gamzee still hadn't woken up and was still nestled on your bed, you offered to sleep in the guest room for the night on one condition from your father: you had to lock the door and the windows and call him from your phone when you woke up. It was a little much, but you suppose he had reason to worry about you. After all, Gamzee had been the one to bite you and nearly slash your face off. You could at least compromise with your father.
You fish around for your phone that's situated somewhere on the drawer beside the bed. When your fingers wrap around the sleek device, you quickly set about typing a text to your dad and click send. You scroll through your messages and find that Dave and Jade both pestered you last night and this morning. Nothing important really, just questions as to your whereabouts.
- ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG]-
EB: hey dave :B
TG: sup Egbert where were you last night
TG: and practically all day yesterday
EB: I have a life you know.
TG: and im the queen of fucking england
EB: ffff. Shut up. But you wanna know where I really was yesterday?
EB: the hospital!
TG: community service huh
TG: didn't know you were so caring helping out all those invalids
TG: what did you have to do give em sponge baths clean their shit for them
TG: youre a regular fucking saint
EB: no no no! I was there as a patient
EB: yeah I got this nasty gash on my face
EB: pretty deep.
TG: fuck really what happened
EB: things went horribly wrong with my science project.
EB: what? :P
TG: you expect me to believe that shit
TG: come on egderp you know me better than that
TG: that's the oldest trick in the god damn book practically forged on ye old illuminated manuscripts
EB: well you better believe it!
TG: whatever oh hey jade wants to talk to you
TG: but she aint on right now
EB: I'll pester her in a bit. My dad's calling me
TG: daddys boy you into that kinky shit huh john
EB: :B fuck you dave
EB: gotta go! tell jade I'll message her later
- ectoBiologist [EB]ceased pestering turntechGodhead [TG] -
Your phone is vibrating in your hands and you quickly tap the screen and bring it to your ear. "Hi dad."
"I'm in the hallway, the coast's clear," his voice sounds synthetic and digital through the speaker. You roll your eyes and throw your legs over the edge of the bed. This is just a little ridiculous and you feel like you're in a movie as a hostage trying to sneak away from your captors. You kick on your sandals and shuffle your way across the room to the doorway, opening it deliberately. You peek your head outside and find your dad standing guard in front of your bedroom, the one Gamzee's in. You end the call on your phone and stuff it in your pajama pant's pocket. "Have you checked on Gamzee yet?"
Your Dad gives you a pat on the shoulder and shakes his head, motioning towards your bedroom door with his eyes.
"I've heard some shuffling inside though," he says quietly, folding his arms across his chest.
"Can I check on him then?" you request.
"No," your father retorts without a second thought.
"We can't just leave him in there all day!" you gripe, settling your eyes on the door. You don't want Gamzee to think he's a prisoner in your house.
"I know," your dad sighs, tilting the brim of his fedora over his forehead. "I didn't say we're not going to check on him. You're just going to stay in the hall while I do it."
"You can't just go in there by yourself!" you yelp, a bit of fear seizing you. "He doesn't know you!"
"I'm aware of that," he says through grit teeth, an exasperated huff of breath escaping his mouth.
"At least let me go inside with you, I promise I won't get any closer," you compromise. To tell the truth, you're afraid. You're scared that Gamzee might lash out at your dad simply because he didn't know who the heck he is. You hope a familiar face would get Gamzee talking without incident. You hear your father "tsk" to himself, shaking his head as he eyes you with a fixed stare.
"Alright, but you stay put by the door," he directs you, moving away from the hallway wall to stand before your doorway. "And if anything funny happens, just run outside."
"Dad, he's not some pycho-murderer or anything," you slur under your breath, taking place beside him.
"He slashed your face," he jibes back.
"Again, I was too close to him! I broke some kind of alien taboo or something," you reply, letting your arms drop melodramatically to your sides. "I told you yesterday dad! If only you could have heard him talk. He's friendly enough."
Your father doesn't respond this time. He has a hand on the doorknob, fingers enclosed around the brass handle as he takes a cavernous breath. He turns his head and peers at you over his shoulder, giving you a slight nod. You nod back and breathe steadily through your nose. When he finally opens the door, he lets out a loud gasp and your body feels so tense that you feel you could spring right out of your skin. Alarm immediately grabs you and you rush to your dad's side, eyes widening as you clutch at his shirt sleeve.
Your room is almost pitch black and the temperature is startlingly cold. It still smells like metal and sickness and the last vestiges of Gamzee's dried blood. Your windows, though the blinds are already drawn close, have some of your blankets and comforters thrown over them as well, as if Gamzee had been trying to prevent any and all light from filtering in through the blinds. You're not surprised to find that your room is also in shambles. Piles of junk sit across the floor in chaotic circles, some of the piles filled with arbitrary things like old action figures or mounds of clean and dirty laundry. Your dresser drawers are even turned out as well. You grope around for the lights and flip the switch up, the room immediately bathed in bright artificial light.
Gamzee is standing about two feet away, lofty, lanky, and slouched and wearing nothing but a yellow towel tied loosely around his scrawny hips. He's facing the both of you with a strange blissed out expression on his face, looking entirely too comfortable. The cuts and bruises on his body are still a grizzly sight to look at, but they're clean and dry and not oozing peculiar fluids. Gamzee's eyes are heavily lidded, ringed with encircling blooms of dark purple that make his eyes look gaunt and recessed. His slit pupils are still adjusting to the light, shrinking into beady little nicks that sit inside purple-gray irises. The yellow of his sclera is veined as well, as if he hadn't gotten any sleep. Hadn't he been sleeping when you returned from the hospital yesterday? The smile that stretches haphazardly across his lips is the only thing that makes him look even remotely alive.
"Hey new friend," Gamzee unexpectedly addresses your dad, raising a reedy hand and enacting a slight wave. The smile on his clean ashen face widens even more, white pointy teeth nearly piercing his bottom lip. He looks slightly less psychotic without the blood and white paint coating his face.
Your father shoots a confused glance at you as if he was terribly, terribly puzzled at the moment and couldn't for the life of him figure out what was going on. There was nothing complicated about a greeting and a simple wave, but to your father, it might as well have come from Hitler himself. He hadn't been expecting Gamzee to greet him so casually.
"Uh, hello," your dad responds uncertainly, still shifting his eyes about.
"Who's the dude Johnbro?" Gamzee asks, his voice raucous and throaty. You stiffen, just realizing that he's in fact talking to you. He's staring right at you now, posture still hunched and smile unwavering. It was weird talking to him knowing that he sliced your face open just yesterday. There's a part of you that's still dreadfully frightened standing this close to him, but the boy's friendly temperament is infectious the more he grins at you and in no time you find yourself unclenching your teeth and letting your shoulders sag.
"H-he's my dad," you fumble, eyes glued to the boy. There's a brief look of perplexion that darts across his face, rendering it with honest confusion. You have a feeling this is going to be another word he doesn't know either.
"What?" he slurs, licking his fangs as his mouth closes. This gets you slightly bothered and you have no idea why.
"My dad," you repeat, pointing a finger at your father. Your dad just watches on in silence. Gamzee blinks at you again, pressing his lips into a thin line as if he's pondering something, but then his lips go lax and he shakes his head, flicking his hand at you theatrically.
"I don't know what the fuck that is," he concedes.
You and your dad both share dubious glances. Your father leans in towards you and whispers behind his hand, "What's happening?"
"Sometimes he doesn't know certain words for some reason," you whisper back, never taking your eyes off Gamzee.
"I see," your dad responds, his brow furrowing. He whispers to you again. "Is he perhaps from a different country?"
You just shake your head and shrug your shoulders. You've given up trying to get your Dad to hop on the alien bandwagon.
"Hey Gamzee?" you start, making sure Gamzee has your attention. He does. "Uhh, how are you?"
"I'm real motherfucking sore to be honest," he responds in due time, his words deliberate. To stress his point, he leans to the left and stretches his abdomen, earning a pained wince and hiss. His needle-like teeth flash from behind his lips. When he straightens himself again, as much as he can anyway, Gamzee suddenly stills and his eyes widen and he centers on you, more specifically on the bandage covering the gash on your face.
"Fuck," he rushes out, and this time his voice sounds a bit desperate. He takes a step forward, the towel riding low on his hips, and for some reason your father flinches and makes a weird face, pushing you behind him.
"Did I do that?" Gamzee continues, pointing a clawed finger at you. You notice that his hand is shaking a little. You subconsciously touch your face, your skin tender and raw to the touch. You'll have to change the bandage later.
"You don't remember?" you ask quietly. For some reason you feel miffed at that. How dare he not remember slicing your face open.
"A bit, not a whole fuckin' lot, but like," he answers, licking his lips. His mouth must be extremely dry because he keeps on doing that. "When you guys left, I kept on thinking about it. Even when I was sleeping, and shit bro, they weren't very whimsical dreams."
Oh God, what is he, from the early 90s or something? You're already expecting him to say something along the terms of "radical!"
"Last night?" you question, biting at your lip. Maybe that's why his eyes are all veined and dead; he probably felt guilty about cutting your skin open and kept on waking up or something. Or perhaps you're putting words in his mouth. You're not that special, why would someone be having dreams of you?
"I don't know if it's day or night right now," he hums, bringing a hand up to run his fingers through his dense mass of hair. He picks his head up. "Where did you all wander man? That water got real fuckin' cold and I kinda' all up and slipped and conked the fuck out on the floor for a while,- ."
"You what!" you cry. You stumble forward, your brain running away with your body as you start to raise your hand to press it to his head, but your dad quickly grips your wrist and nearly tugs you backwards. Your purse your lips and shoot a glare at your dad. You turn back to Gamzee again, who's staring at your wrist which is still in your father's grasp. His face looks distraught once more, eyes settling on the injured side of your face again.
"Are you alright? Can we help you with anything?" your dad pipes up this time, causing both you and Gamzee to stare at him. Gamzee drops his arm to his side and scratches at his bare skin, clawed fingernails gently raking across gray flesh.
"Mm, iono," he murmurs, other hand rubbing at his eyes. Even though he's so tall and scary looking, all sharp features and even sharper teeth, you can see he's vulnerable. He's naked and cut up and looks like an overall wreck, and knowing he's probably on a foreign planet all alone and in dire need of medical treatment, you suppose he really is helpless. Nevertheless, the sharp sting in your cheek reminds you to keep your guard up.
Your dad is silent beside you, hands pressed to his hips as he looks at the ground. You know his brain is probably thinking up a storm; he's probably deciding what the next course of action is. It always amazes you when you see your dad like this, all serious and hushed, because usually he's always thinking up of ways to prank the shit out of you.
As another sting pierces through your cheek, you hiss and press your hand to the bandage, gently rubbing the pads of your fingers over it. It's starting to really hurt now that the medicine wore off. When you look up again, you hunch in on yourself, because Gamzee is staring straight at you, gaze steadfast. Suddenly his expression caves and he looks troubled again, his brow ruffled and lips drawn into a thin line. He looks down at his hands and flexes his claws, curling his fingers into his palm. You piece two and two together and you touch your injured cheek again—could he possibly be feeling sorry for you? The next couple of words out of his mouth prove it.
"I'm sorry bro. I'm real, real motherfuckin' sorry. I didn't—."
"It's okay," you cut in before you have a chance to even think about it. You really are okay with it. Yeah, you had been in a panic when it first happened, even had a mini-panic attack, something you've never had before, but you were fine. You were probably going to sport a nasty scar too, but you could fix that as well. You've seen commercials advertising those creams that'll fade scars away. Besides, your curiosity far outweighs any hesitance you may have. This guy isn't human.
"Do you mind if we treat your injuries?" your father asks, his voice loud against the hush of your room. Gamzee straightens himself and looks down at his body, his shoulders lined with cuts and stomach plagued with gashes ranging from shallow to deep. He shakes his head stiffly and both you and your dad visibly relax.
"You won't hurt us?" your father continues. His tone is strained and cautious.
"I'll fuckin' try not to Dad," Gamzee assures the best he can, which really doesn't settle well with your dad.
Your father wrinkles his brow at the moniker. "You can call me Mr. Egbert."
You can't help but laugh at the peeved frown on your dad's face. He looks so bothered- it's freaking hilarious.
"Alright then, we'll go get the medical supplies," your dad insists, already tugging you along. You dig your heels into the floor and try to stop him from making any further advances. When you're pretty much deadweight, you hear your father sigh sharply. "John."
"Can I stay here?" you peer over your shoulder. You try to make yourself look as small as possible, a pleading look to your face.
"Please don't be difficult," he grumbles, pressing a palm to his face.
"Dad, you're just going to the bathroom, which is like, just down the hall!" you reason with him, trying to pry his fingers away. "Relax, I'll be fine. If anything happens I'll book it right out of here."
Your father has a deep, worrisome frown to his lips, looking at you with hardened eyes. You falter a bit under his stare, but your face remains piteous. He then shifts his gaze to Gamzee, who's still standing across from you, eyes trained on a movie poster of Nicholas Cage taped to your wall.
"Listen," your father bellows. You thought he was addressing you, but when you see Gamzee's head quickly turn and pivot, directing his attention to your father, you find that your dad isn't even looking at you. He's looking straight at Gamzee, the muscles in his neck tense and strained. Your dad points a firm finger at him.
"Sit," your dad commands. Gamzee just blinks and shuffles backwards until the back of his knees hit the edge of your mattress. He plops down, the towel untying around his hips. The cloth is still covering him, but the towel ends are no longer connected and you can see a large strip of scarred gray skin.
"And if you so much as move from there…" your dad trails off. He then turns to you and releases his hold on you. "Don't get too close alright? If something happens- ."
"Daaad," you whine, stomping your foot. "You're just going to the bathroom!"
Your father clams up, lips pursing, and he nods. With a weary sigh, he exits your room, his footsteps echoing loudly down the hallway. You roll your eyes.
"He doesn't seem to like me very much huh," you hear Gamzee mutter from behind you. You turn around and find him slouched on your bed, his hands gripping the edge of your mattress. "But nah, that's cool, he ain't gotta' dig me. Peeps can be making all kinds of judgments and it don't bother me none."
"No, it's not that, it's just- you kinda' nearly slashed my face off man," you say flatly, pointing to your cheek.
"m'sorry about that," he stresses. His eyes are trained on the floor. "I don't know what the fuck I'm doing sometimes brother."
"Are you like this all the time?" you probe. You know it's a little early to be fishing information out of him so soon, but you have a feeling that even if that is the case, his approachable nature would just cave in and tell you.
"No- well, I was when I first went off the sopor, but I learned to fuckin bear with that shit ya know. I got used to it, because my best friend was there and he'd help me. But fuck, I think it's coming back to the point where I can't motherfuckin' control it." He looks up at you with a despondent expression, rubbing soothing little circles at his temples with his fingers.
You take a few seconds to watch him as he tries to sooth himself, neither of you saying anything, until you decided to break the silence and say rather objectively, "I don't know what you're talking about."
You don't want to be mean or anything, but even though there were some context clues for you to go by, like "sopor" and something about controlling something, there's not much to piece together. Did he expect you to get all of that in one go? Unless he knew you were going to ask questions, but then again, maybe he had been just spacing out and forgot that you had no idea about his origins. Basically, all of that went in one ear and flew out the other.
"s'alright," he grins. His eyes suddenly widen and he sits up straight, dropping his hands into his toweled lap.
"What?" you ask him cautiously.
"My bag," he rushes out, ghosting his eyes around the room.
"Your bag?" you repeat.
"Fuck yeah, my bag!" he exclaims, nearly launching yourself off your bed. "Where's your lawnring?"
You rear back. You have no idea what he just said. What was a "lawnring"? It sounded like an animal disease. He must have seen your puzzled expression because he growls a little in his throat, which in turn makes you flinch.
"Where you motherfuckin' found me bro!" he supplies.
"The backyard?" you query, pointing towards the direction with your index finger.
"I have my shit in your backyard," he whispers rather loudly, as if afraid your father might hear.
"Y-you took a shit in my backyard?" you deadpan.
He catches you off guard when his grim expression drops from his face and is replaced by a gruff snicker. "Haha, good one motherfucker, but to be completely fucking serious man, I need you to go and get my bag."
You take a minute to process this new information. He has a bag with him. This alien from another planet has a bag with him that's most likely from another planet as well. Who knows what kinds of stuff he might have in there! He could have cool alien gadgets and weapons and holy shit—you need to get that bag.
"Where is it?" you nearly bark out in your sudden exhilaration.
"I stuffed that fucker in a bush," Gamzee responds. A loud thunk comes from behind you and you whip around, finding your dad standing at the threshold of the doorway with an appalled expression on his face. The box of medical supplies at his feet is tipped over, some of its contents spilling on the floor.
"Dad!" you exclaim, rushing over to him. You nearly jump where you stand. "He said he left a bag outside in the backyard!"
"Oh, is that what you guys were talking about?" he whispers to himself, looking relieved. As the information sinks in, he goes straight, a thoughtful expression on his face. "I think you should go get it John."
You nod at him and make to step around him, but before you leave, you halt and lean in towards him and whisper, "Don't make him uncomfortable okay?"
A/N: yay! Another chapter done. Hope you enjoyed and please review! :D