"I never originally intended for them to be anything other than an idle exercise in character design. I never gave them names. But they were a lot of fun to draw, and I ended up getting kind of fond of them."
Respect A Woman is the name of the LJ Community for a shared Left 4 Dead fanfic Universe by (amongst others, including anyone who wants to join in) Zarla and Jazaaboo. Disappointed with the level of sexualisation usually involved in Rule 63/Genderswap art, Zarla designed two realistic pre-infection Special Infected, intended to be the male version's distaff counterparts. Hunter is a short, active, East Asian Genki Girl, while Smoker is a tall, whip-thin Deadpan Snarker. They meet when Hunter accidentally breaks Smoker's window and Smoker makes her work off the cost of a new one. This oddest of odd couples soon develops a firm friendship.Then the zombieapocalypse hits. In the original storyline (since they were created as zombies to begin with), Hunter becomes infected by one of her parkour friends and infects Smoker in turn. However, over time another storyline began to take traction where the two of them proved to be immune to the virus, and not knowing what else to do, Hunter and Smoker searched for rescue and tried to survive. They meet Charger, a serious woman who knows her animals and applies her skills to predicting the actions of the zombies, and Jockey, a relatively young girl with what one might charitably describe as perception problems. These last two were designed by Jazaaboo.The shared universe also includes storylines where the outbreak never happened, along with a Cowboy Universe and...The one thing that never changes is the characters.This...whatever...contains examples of:
Academy of Adventure: The schoolgirl AU. Some kind of ghosts or spirits stalk the grounds at night, and all four protagonists are trained in the use of some kind of weapon.
Action Girl: The main cast might have no practical combat experience (except maybe Charger) and they're all woefully unprepared for what happened, but they can look after themselves. For the most part.
Action Survivor: Smoker, Hunter, and Jockey at first, although Charger teaches them how to use guns and survive.
It's worth noting that most of these are pretty small. This is a list of the main ones.
In addition, the survivor and infected variants have a number of stories where one or more of them die. For the Not Immune and Sacrifice scenarios, stories are written exploring what would happen if each one succumbed. What this means is that while there are plenty of stories or sketches where one or more of them die, they're all considered to be alive unless it's specifically stated otherwise.
Amnesiac Lover: Both Smoker and Hunter in the Cured universe. Neither of them remember their lives before the infection, but they remember each other. When they first meet, Smoker signs (she's mute) a heart into Hunter's palm.
Anger Born of Worry: Smoker, oh so very much, in Now What?. Hunter disappears for a month without letting Smoker know beforehand. When she returns, Smoker blows up at her.
Anti-Hero: Psychopro. He kills zombies, but that's all he has going for him.
Axe Crazy: Psychopro, a survivor, likes to torture and kill infected, taking trophies from his victims. He also wrote the "I'm happier now. I can kill anyone I like." graffiti that you can find in a safehouse.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Very often, Jockey will completely veer off into her own head and insist that everything is fine and there is no zombie apocalypse, that loved ones are not in fact dead, but still alive and waiting for them somewhere, etc.
Cluster F-Bomb: Smoker drops plenty of these when trying to quit smoking.
Crash into Hello: Hunter and Smoker initially meet when Hunter misses a parkour jump and goes through Smoker's window instead.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Mousey was one of Smoker's coworkers before the Green Flu. She got her nickname because it fit. In the Cured universe, she's a survivor who ended up in curetown. This implies some level of badassery, but what solidifies it is her tackling Charger, who's having a temporary zombie reversion, and getting her to cool down without hurting anyone. Of course, the rest of the time, she's still very much a Shrinking Violet, but she's trying.
Pre-infection, Smoker and Hunter watched West Side Story. In Hunter's Not Immune scenario, Smoker sings it to her. While it's the same song both times, the loss is much closer to home the second time.
Dead Man Writing: Charger leaves the other survivors a note in her Not Immune scenario before she leaves the others. It's unknown if she's dead or a zombie, though.
Deadpan Snarker: Smoker. Hunter also enjoys sarcasm, but to a lesser degree.
Death by Origin Story: David, Charger's husband. His death is why she's so closed off. He's still alive in the mobster and cowboy universes, though, and on death's door in the Totoro crossover.
Deer in the Headlights: Warlock, a male survivor based on the Witch, suffers heavily from this. As he was already a tightly wound ball of anxiety during the preinfection days, you can imagine how this playsout in general when the infection hits.
Die or Fly: When Winged!Charger (who doesnít think she can fly) and Jockey are stuck on a roof with too many zombies to kill, Jockey jumps off the roof to force Charger to try.
Does Not Like Men: Smoker doesn't like anybody much, but all of the men in her life are basically slimeballs.
Dramatic Drop: Smoker drops her cigarette in Hunter's Not Immune scenario when Smoker finds out that she's becoming a zombie.
Driven to Suicide: In Charger's Not Immune scenario, she gets some distance between herself and the others and then kills herself rather than become a zombie.
Hunter dives back into the horde of zombies that the rest of the team left Smoker in.
Dying Alone: Not quite, but Smoker zombifies alone in her bathroom in great pain, begging for Hunter to help her.
Dying as Yourself: All of the survivors choose to do this in their Not Immune scenarios.
Dysfunction Junction: It's downplayed, but none of the survivors are good at talking about issues other than killing zombies. It's most evident in Now What? where Hunter comes back from a month-long unexplained absence and Smoker blows up at her and blows her off when she's mentally begging her to stay.
Enemy Within: The cured infected suffer relapses to their zombie state under certain conditions. Basically, if someone would have made perfect prey for them (someone alone on the ground for Hunter, someone on a rooftop for Smoker) then they lose control and try to kill them. It usually passes quickly, though.
Smoker: "You can't just come home at all hours-I have work in the morning, you know that? Honestly-"
Hunter: "Did... you just say this was my home?"
From a Certain Point of View: When Mousey asks about the scratches on Smoker's back, she tells her that they're from a stray cat that occasionally comes around and eats her food, instead of from Cat Girl Hunter.
Future Badass: The Sole Survivors can be seen as this. All of them are considerably more battle-worn than they are in the main Survivor universe, and have been killing zombies for longer.
Genki Girl: Hunter is constantly active, related to her interest in Parkour.
Handicapped Badass: The cured protagonists are all this. Because they're still partly zombies, Charger only has one arm, and it's no good for anything delicate. Smoker lost her tongue and one eye. Hunter's blind and Jockey's very hunchbacked and withered. They're all quite strong and capable of killing people, though.
Heroic BSOD: Jockey gets a pretty bad one after she demolishes her delusions by shooting zombie David.
Heroic Sacrifice: All four of the survivors get a chance to do this in the Sacrifice scenario.
Hidden Depths: Smoker and Jockey are great lovers of music, from the Midnight Riders to showtunes. Hunter, naturally, teases Smoker mercilessly for this. On the other hand, Hunter herself likes some rather embarrassing music...
Her Name Really Is Smoker: Hunter and Smoker started out as Rule 63'd hunter and smoker special infected. When they became characters, they kept the titles, and Charger and Jockey were named the same way.
Laser-Guided Karma: Psychopro abandons his team to get to the safehouse, only to be jumped by the jockey inside.
Last Request: Before Smoker goes to restart the generator in her Sacrifice scenario, she asks Charger to stop Hunter from following her.
Lethal Chef: Hunter. "I tried to boil an egg once and I burned it."
Loners Are Freaks: Subverted with Smoker; while she prefers to be alone, it's never presented as any kind of character flaw or something that has to be fixed.
Luminescent Blush: Smoker in any sexual situation, and she hates it. Hunter of course mocks her for it.
Magic Antidote: The Cured universe greatly averts this trope. The cure for the Green Flu is a mix of surgical procedures and scientific experimentation that takes a long time to work. It stops the zombies from trying to kill people... most of the time. They relapse to their zombie state if they see something provoking (basically anything they were good at killing as zombies). The military can't do much about the bodies of the mutated special infected, though. Cured specials still look a lot like they did as zombies, just less bloody.
Mama Bear: Just about any version of Charger. She looks out for the rest of her team, whether they're survivors or zombies. Someone else being in danger is a Berserk Button for her in the Cured universe.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Again subverted, as Hunter actually likes Smoker for her introvertedness, and has no desire at all to change her.
Mercy Kill: In the Not Immune scenarios, Charger delivers these to the others, as they're unwilling/too far gone to do it themselves.
Charger killed the animals at her zoo when the outbreak hit because no one could take care of them.
Mistaken for Gay: Played with. Hunter is bi, and Smoker genuinely doesn't consider herself to be gay, but people tend to make assumptions... which may or may not be true...
Mood Whiplash: Cured!Jockey goes from celebrating remembering a song to wailing in anguish as the song reminds her of the people she killed as a zombie.
More Expendable Than You: One of the reasons Smoker decides to sacrifice herself in her Sacrifice scenario is that she "probably only had a few years left anyway."
Mr. Exposition: The scientist at the beginning of the cured AU explains how the zombies have been doing, what heís trying to accomplish, how their mission is going, etc. Itís justified because heís talking into a recorder.
Another scientist tells the newly cured protagonists about the procedures performed on her and some of the symptoms that the cured will experience.
Music for Courage: Employed fairly frequently by Jockey, and on occasion by Smoker (usually with a bit of armtwisting).
My God, What Have I Done?: In the Infected universe, Smoker broadcasts this trope if she kills Hunter in self-defense as she's turning.
For reference, Charger doesn't lose her cool when she realizes that the four of them are trapped and going to die. The events of Jockey's Not Immune scenario leave her dangerously close to the Despair Event Horizon and showing it.
Jockey sobers up considerably when things get really bad, and even yells at Charger at one point.
A downplayed example occurs preinfection. Hunter enters Smoker's apartment through her door, as opposed to her window, because she hurt herself parkouring.
Le Parkour: Hunter has several running buddies for this, and tends to practice all the time, even in public and on people. This hobby led to their meeting in the first place.
Please Wake Up: The infected have some trouble determining that one of their number is dead, not just asleep or wounded.
Sole Survivor!Jockey maintains that her friend's corpses are just sleeping.
Some of Hunter's lines if Smoker dies and vice versa implore the other to wake up/get up.
Politically Incorrect Anti-Hero: Psychopro, oh so much. He doesn't seem to be capable of getting through a sentence without saying some kind of slur against someone.
Precision F-Strike: Charger gets a precision something strike in Smoker's Not Immune scenario when she realizes that Smoker's becoming a zombie.
Puff of Logic: When it is pointed out that Cured!Smoker canít use an artificial voicebox, she switches to a phone with text-to-speech.
Punch a Wall: Hunter when she gets really mad and frustrated, such as Chargerís version of the Sacrifice scenario or Smokerís version of the Not Immune scenario.