Relearning to Breath
by Lacewing

If you think I own anything outside the orignal characters I created just for this story then you are out of your ever fucking scrambled monkey brains. It belongs to the Huss of course!

A new Neighbor


She smiled signing the paperwork. She'd gotten a look at the apartment. Everything was working, very little was overly damaged. It was in good shape, and for a decent price a month.

And she could not beat the move in special. In her mind she had a great deal and one that was well within her budget. Which made her happy, that meant that she had a little extra money for saving.

Considering the last few months had been a pit of hell, she needed this chance to start over. To focus on her stories and build up her savings. Fix her uneven teeth, and keep herself from getting ill. Perhaps, even get herself another cat. Or maybe a dog, if she could find one she could stand.

She really was a cat person.

Hope Newell picked up a box from her car and walked to the porch of the apartment. She set it down among some others and glanced up to meet a sleepy gaze of a man from the apartment next to her new one. Long messy curls falling around sharp features. With a cold golden gaze, and grey skin, topping the odd look was a pair of long spiraling horns on top his head.

She blinked and he matched the blink before giving her a very predatory smile. He wore only a loose pair of baggy pj pants, giving her a full view of his chest and the lean muscle pulled taunt over flesh and bone.

She blinked again and then broke into a friendly smile which made his disappear in surprise. "Morning!" she said cheerfully and went to her car to get another box, when she glanced up she saw the odd man scratching his head and looking a little confused.

"smile" she murmured to herself "they wonder what you're up to." she chuckled getting the last box from the car and closing the trunk.

Hitting the lock she went up to the porch and saw the neighbor had left his porch and gone back inside. Damn had he been a skinny bastard.

And she hadn't been expecting to see a Troll.

A couple years back, something happened. No one really explained much, but a huge group of aliens had landed.

And not as attackers, or dignitaries from some far off system.

But refugees. Sick and hurting. Needing a home. They traded off their tech and ships for food and shelter and health care.

She'd heard about them, and heard they were becoming more commonly seen as the call went out and more ships came. She knew a few details as she'd seen on the news and discovery channel. About them coming from a red dwarf star planet. That their world became unstable and literately fell to pieces. That they didn't have families like humans. Instead mixing gathered genetic material all together in a complicated slurry that was given to a kind of queen bee, they were laid in batches of eggs, and from the moment they burst from their shells they were hungry and would fight their way to the surface. Those strong enough to make it out of the 'hives' would then be raised.

It sounded harsh, and foreign to her. Hope has just shrugged it off as 'one of those things' and for the most part ignored the chaos and silliness. About how they were here to take their women, jobs, world, ect. Which sounded like the most ridiculous thing she'd ever heard. Yeah, they had to compete for some jobs, but they also brought their own work with them. A whole line of products that suited their particular needs. They needed hives for their young, they needed certain foods and the raising and care of their 'lusus' animals. Creatures that seemed to do the raising of their children rather than they themselves. Yes they where adjusting themselves to human way of things, but they had completely different family units and ways of thinking of romance and mating.

She highly doubted they would be much interested in mating with humans, female or otherwise.

Bringing the last box to the porch she started loading it all inside. She glanced about, a couple boxes in the kitchen, what remained of her cooking gear and dishes. A flat screen TV sitting on some crates that held movies, games, and a ps3 (the best of the old playstation systems in her opinion). Her laptop bag resting on a low table by a beanbag chair. Her matrice was on the floor in the single bedroom and her clothing was all in a couple black bags.

So little remained of her life. She looked around setting down a box of tools, a few knickknacks and some shelving was all there was remaining.

Most all fit in just a couple loads from the storage unit.

She pulled out a framed picture and stared at it a moment feeling her eyes tear up. She rubbed at them. She didn't need to start crying now. She set the frame down and kissing her fingers ran them down the side figure in the picture.

Best friend, sister of her soul.

She buried her Best Friend two weeks ago.

With a sigh she opened another box and made a face. Nope, the towels where not as savable as she'd hoped. They still smelled strongly of smoke and death. Closing that box she turned to put it back out on the porch when she saw her neighbor standing there. Watching her with an expression she couldn't quite read.

"Excuse me" she said politely and he shifted, barely letting her pass him as she put the box of bathroom toiletries outside again.

That down she turned and gave him a bright smile "Can I help you?"

"What is mother fucking wrong with you?" he demanded. His voice was rough, a little raspy, surprisingly deep. There was a sort of undertone. Like somewhere between a growl and a purr. Kind of pleasant she decided.

"Excuse me?" she asked raising a brow into her short hairline. Her smile getting wider. OH she must have hit a nerve!

"This" he indicated her growing amusement. "What the fuck is with this chipper motherfucking politeness!"

Yep, definitely hit a nerve.

She just giggled, winked and went on inside her place "What? A girl can't be friendly with her neighbors?" Hope asked him "If you'll excuse me, I got some unpacking to do." she said and with a cheerful tilt of her head she went back inside.

"Who are you?"

OH he could talk without overusing fuck in his grammar! She turned "Well, I would think it would be more polite to introduce yourself first. You know, a cheerful 'Hi I'm " and she held out her hand as if waiting for his answer.

He started at her a long moment, and she had a feeling of.. well.. compressed danger. Something inside of her tightens and was slowly growing towards panic. It was like she was a mouse testing a very large and very irritable predator.

Who after another long moment of increasingly awkward silence suddenly broke into an equally cheerful smile, his eyes falling into a sleepy contended amusement, his whole frame sagging making him seem less threatening. Well, not counting the mouthful of sharp teeth, long pointy horns and very sharp looking claws instead of nails.

"Honk" he said doing a really good imitation of a bicycle horn and his hands braced on the sliding doorframe leaning him half into her apartment "Gamzee Makara, nice to meetcha motherfucking sis." he said.

"There! That wasn't so hard!" she replied her hands behind her clasped to keep her arms strait and hide the shaking she was feeling. "I'm Hope Newell!" and without thinking about it she moved a couple steps closer and held out her hand to him.

He stared down at the hand as if he was slowly contemplating what he should do with it, and then held out his own hand. Clasping her's in his rather large, but surprisingly firm grasp. He didn't let go as his smile spread a crossed his face and she found herself keeping her smile locked in place. A trick she had to learn the last few months. Not batting an eye, even when she wanted to pull away and scream.

He just stared at her and she had the feeling he was sizing her up, testing her, and if she failed she would be screwed.

She had no clue how she was suppose to win this weird contest of wills. So she just stuck to what she was always taught growing up. Be polite, keep smiling, and don't show them how scared and panicked you are feeling.

After a time that began to feel like a horrible eternity he released her hand "Well then." he said, everything about him relaxed to the point that he reminded her of some guy baked half out of his brains. "Let me know if you'd ever like to slam back a mother fuckin' faygo."

"Er.. sure." she said and he hopped the porch to his own going in and closing his door.

Hope sank to the floor and quickly closed the porch door and the curtains. In case he came back. She didn't want to him to see how utterly terrified she was.

She just had this feeling that would be a very bad idea.


Hope didn't see much of her alien neighbor. Sometimes she got woken at weird times hearing people banging on his door late at night. A web search told her that the trolls where predominately nocturnal. Because their sun was closer to their planet than earth's sun. Making it brighter and more likely to leave one permanently blind if you spent too much time in it. She did some other bits of research, but mostly came up with hate sites, and a few weird fetish sites rather than hard facts. Which was very annoying. It was as if all of the real hard information about the alien race was being suppressed.

She wanted to know more of what to expect from her neighbor. Not just the stuff she already knew about some of their basic habits, but stuff about interacting with them. Even if she only ran into him in passing, she didn't want to do something that could get misunderstood. But in the end just figured she'd do her best to avoid contact.

It suited her anyway. She wasn't up for contact with anyone really. She glanced at her phone as it rang. The caller id showed it to be some toll free number. No one she wanted to talk with them.

Next to the phone on the counter was the frame with the photo. Two shots really. One of herself and her best friend. They where back to back looking at each other and laughing. Each wearing only a fur wrapped around their shoulders and the picture doctored and fuzzed the hell out to give it an old fashioned look. The photo had been one of the few things she rescued from the fire at her old apartment.

Dark haired Susan had been about to bust her gut laughing during that photo session.

It was one of the last times the pair had actually had any real untainted fun.

After that, Sue had gotten ill. And she didn't get better.

Hope crashed into her beanbag chair and stared at the popcorn white ceiling.

Once she got sick, she didn't get better. It progressed so fast. No one had any real time to even consider any options. A bunch of short term things had taken place. But nothing to fix what was too late to fix.

It seemed she had had cancer for several years and hid it from everyone. Even Hope.

"Bitch" Hope said to herself. She could hear Sue's returned 'And I love you too.' Covering her eyes with her arms and biting her lip to keep herself from turning into a ball of misery and grief. "Why didn't you say anything?" Susan's parents of course blamed Hope. As if their daughter's death was somehow Hope's fault, as if she wouldn't have gotten cancer, or that they would have somehow found out about it sooner.

But then they didn't get their daughter that well. As much as Hope wished that the other girl had told her, she knew Sue never would have. She wasn't that kind of girl. She wanted to live her life, what there was of it, to its fullest. Not sick from chemo or slowly being watched to waist away.

Until those last couple months, there had been nothing to show she was ill. Nothing at all. She had been healthy, and happy. She took Hope skydiving, and roller skating, and hiking. They went snorkeling with whales in Alaska, and they had laughed and enjoyed being together.

Hell, it was kind of shocking how little 'sex' there was actually involved in their relationship

But it had been enough for Hope. Hope the girl named so because she lived.

Born the day suicide bombers hit two towers. Her mother had been about 8 months along when the explosion rocked the ground and the falling debris. The shock of the event sent her into premature labor. The dust and debris had permanently scared her mother's lungs.

While the world watched, Hope was born in an ambulance on scene. Her mother was never the same. At least according to her father. She was quiet. Hardly never talking. Her father and mother lived in a house by a lake in upper state New York. Away from the city that had scared them.

Hope grew up. She got ill alot, doctors said it had to do with damage from being born premature and lungs underdeveloped exposed to so much crap from the destruction of the twin towers. She grew to be a bit on the anti-social side, not liking prolonged contact with others. Mostly a home body who dreamed of travel.

So she dreamed, and she started writing those dreams down. Blogs at first, and people liked her ideas. She got good enough that even as a teen she wrote articles and short stories for magazines and compilation books. Making enough money to put away towards a college fund, or maybe just a 'move out when she was 18' fund.

Her last year of high school she had been dating a few people, but never really found that fit. Most the guys she met wanted to try and clumsily into her pants and she wasn't interested.

Then she met Susan Harper. The girl just appeared beside her and said that Hope had the most beautiful eyes she'd ever seen. Like river stones.

Hope was not one to be vain about her looks. She was a dirty blond with a intermediate color of grey eyes that no single ID could agree upon. Her current driver's license decided to call them blue, her last one said grey and the picture ID she carried to get into the private rooms of the her old college library said they were green.

She wasn't tall, wasn't short, just, average. Average weight, average height, average, average, average. Could be easily lost in a crowd. Which as a child had been a terrible fear. That she was so average her parents would lose her and never find her again.

Sue on the other hand was never average. Chunky, with long black hair and eyes of chocolate. She had freckles a crossed her pale nose and could never get a tan no matter how hard she had tried, only burn. Sue was practically nocturnal and loved old black and white movies and Shakespeare in the park. She could quote the entire works of Edgar Allen Poe and every episode of the old 1990's program Who's Line.

And when Hope was with her, she never felt average. So when they graduated, Sue had gotten into a great college a crossed the country from their new York state home, Hope's grade had been average and she hadn't been able to get into anything but community school. So instead she took her savings and was able to put down for an apartment for the pair of them. Sue went to her school. Studying to be a teacher, Hope took a few classes at the local community college in the area. Mostly in creative writing and journalism. She wrote stories and Sue would spend hours reading over her shoulders as she worked (which she hated...)

And now, four years later, here she was. In the middle of the country somewhere in the deep south. Hiding from everyone. Surviving off a small income and savings while she wrote articles and tried not to fall into a black despair and get a gun so she could join Susan in death. Especially after some idiot had decided to set fire to the old block of apartments she had once shared with the other girl.

Hope had not been home at the time, had been arguing with lawyers of her friend's parents over what was to become of their daughter's remains. Sue had been very specific on her desires, but in the end, her parents had won that fight and Hope had been forced to give up. Not having the money for a long drawn out legal battle. She had spent nearly all her savings and Sue's in hospital costs.

Hope sat up suddenly when she realized that someone was banging on her door. Feeling confused she wiped her bloodshot eyes on her shirt and managed to not look like a total wreck, she hoped, as she opened the door. Someone was shouting obscenities at her knocker. Which really had her feeling confused and a little scared to even open the doorway.

Outside was another Troll, some guy who was shorter than herself, with very nubby horns and a definite overbite. He looked taken aback by seeing her.

Silently she pointed to the door next to her's "I think you want that door." she said.

He blinked at her and then over at the other door that opened up. She saw Gamzee standing there in absolutely nothing but a bare wisp of a towel and sporting a serious case of bed head. "Fuck man. What's with all the mother fuckin' noise bro?" he said and the other troll was more than willing to turn his shouting obscenities at him as he pushed back the much taller troll into his apartment.

Hope felt her lips twitch at the sight. She started to back up to close her door when a dark grey hand suddenly slammed itself on her door making her nearly jump out of her skin.

"Motherfuckin' sorry about that." he rasped at her. Still holding his towel in place with his other hand. She swallowed and fought to keep her own eyes up and focused on his face. Which was half lidded and amused.

"Accidents happen" she shrugged with her best smile to cover her nervousness.

"True that" he said and his hand came down running over her cheek which still had trails of dampness. He pulled his hand back and licked his fingers as if curious.

Her eyes were about as wide as saucers at that point. From the shock of the touch and the fact that he was just sort of standing there slowly losing his towel and staring at her with that unreadable gaze that had her trying to figure out just what he was thinking.

"Um... BYE!" and she practically slammed the door locking it and leaning back against it. She could hear a chuckle before the other door closed.

BASTARD! She fumed; he did that just to get a rise out of her! Creepy ass fucking stoner... HIPPIE! She went off to her bathroom to clean up scrubbing her face and trying to forget the slim hips and long limbs.

God damn it all! Why did the aliens have to look and feel so damn human, exotically lovely too? Couldn't they have been giant bugs or something so, utterly different that there would be no way anything could be misconstrued! It felt like he had been hitting on her, but she was just a boring little human girl and he was... Hell she wasn't even sure where his standing among the trolls stood. There was some weird thing about their blood color. She'd seen a few things online about it. But nothing overly clear, there had been a general warning about watching out for any trolls that bleed purple. Or who's center of their golden eyes reflected said color. That they tended to be the most volatile and dangerous.

As it was, there was more than enough time, she was going to get dressed, go out and find a bar. Maybe get herself plastered and if someone managed to catch her eye get herself fucking laid!

With a goal in mind she hit her own shower.


Author's Notes: Start of a story that I seriously did not intend to write! Hell, I didn't even intend to have an OC in it once I started writing. It started with an image of Gamzee being a half sober doofis to one of the humans and next I knew there was this character and this world and … Forgive me?

I wrote over 25 pages of this story in one night (from 12am til 4am) and been editing most the day.

So, anyway… it will be up top too, but just in case anyone misses it.

I own nothing but original setting, Hope and Susan.

My playlist for the writing of this fic that played on Youtube while I wrote. Some of these songs where AMVs for Homestuck, a couple I wish were! Others just made good 'image songs' for the themes of this story.

Paradiso Girls: Who's my Bitch

The Band Perry: If I die young

Apocalyptica: Ruska

Unknown Artist: Shake That

P!nk: Bridge of Light

Chris Garneau: Dirty Night Clowns

RyanDan: Tears of an Angel

Unknown Artist: Hero (this is not the Enrique Hero or Nickleback.. its more rock out)

Christina Aguilera: candyman

Remixed Owlcity: Fireflies (around the world)

Unknown artist: Rule the World (from the credits of Stardust)

Steam Powered Giraffe: Honeybee

Sick Puppies: All the Same

Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Carrie Underwood: I'll Stand by you

Lorax sound track: How Bad Can I be?

Unknown artist cover: Hallelujah

Unknown artist: Requiem for a Dream

Gary Jules: Mad World

Alice Glass: Not in Love

Breaking Benjamin: Dance with the Devil

Christopher Tin: Baba Yetu

Return to Neverland: I'll Try

Poets of the Fall: Carnival of Rust

Treasure Planet: I'm Still Here

Rent: I'll cover you (reprise)