Title: The Rotten Fruit of Wounded Wombs
Summary: It's in this house that prodigal children are made, monstrous and wrong and not what she wants at all, but the house does its work and reshapes them into what should be right but is still wrong, she'll get it right, she only needs one.
Warning(s)/Kinks: Language, Violence, Sexual situations, References to sexual assault, Incest
Spoilers: None beyond things reveled about Tate in Episode 5: Halloween Pt. 2
Disclaimer: I don't own American Horror Story.
A/N: Basically this is going to be a 3-5 part story about what Nora's motives might, could, or would be and a little idea of what type of people have lived in the Murder House over the years, and also Tate's mental instabilities and why it's like there's a switch that's either set to homicidal or docile for him. Basically it's me pondering on paper and doing some character study writing.
There are many failures, belonging to the house and not to her. The house is wrong, it's not what she wanted, but she can fix it. Once she fixes the house the house won't have to keep making them wrong. It has been a long time, years upon years, disappointment and sorrow melding into inconsolable rage and manic dissatisfaction that her husband couldn't get one thing right in the entirety of his wasteful life. One thing, he's failed, she won't though. She's sure and she knows.
Decades of monstrosities, her own child among them. The beautiful fruit of her perfect womb made dead and remade as that thing.
It isn't her child that's down there. It's something constructed and false and wrong wrong wrong.
Her head aches and the years of the greatest promises turned vile failures come; flashing unwanted, unbidden, and unwelcome images, recollections through her thoughts colored with the ire and anguish of things planned so carefully being so dreadfully fouled up by the ones who think her house is theirs.
It's not long after she's dead that Charles' brother and wife overtake and savage the home she's prized so highly and worked so hard to carve life into. And they don't leave, it's futile to try to change that much. Her brother in law would have been the better choice for marriage, if she hadn't been so taken with Charles' looks she may have avoided such a fate that she supposes was what was always meant to come of them.
His name is Richard and his wife Dolores, he is old and impotent and she is young and beautiful. Her womb fresh and body strong, supple, soft, her children will be beautiful. Nora is neither dim nor addled, her demise has cleared her mind of anxiety and fear and instability.
Death has gifted her with other things.
Richard gives Dolores a rut long since overdue and matched previously only by the vigor he'd shown on their wedding night many years ago, before Nora and Charles were themselves even courting like bright cheerful birds.
It only takes one.
Dolores is a beauty even when fat and red-faced from carrying such a large burden around for as long as is expected.
Nora is pleased.
But the child, the children, are wrong. Small and weak and monstrous, stuck chest to chest and so horribly dirty wrong. She wants to retch. Dolores is crazed when she sees them later, days after Richard has hidden them after their ungodly birth, alive and cooing, deceptively sweet and soft but still wrong.
Dolores howls and her screech echoes out of the exquisite chestnut walled room that's become her prison, she is justifiably driven insane with the gutted feel of failing at so natural and feminine a duty as conception and birth of what should have been perfect children.
But Richard is much like Charles, and where Charles is a doctor Richard is a surgeon, a real surgeon, in hospitals and sick rooms and on battlefields, not basements and smoking parlors and on workbenches like his failed brother.
There is a sickness in the Montgomery men, one that is feed by their science of saving life; it's perverted into dealing it, creating it. The children suckle from breasts belonging to a woman who is less than their mother and close enough to a ghost herself that the fact that she still breaths and owns a beating heart means little.
They are monstrous and suck what little vigor she has left from her thinning body, still she lives, but beautiful Dolores is a mere wraith husk by the time the little demon with two heads and eight limbs is fat and rosy enough to be ripped in half.
Richard is skilled. They live. They are nothing more than creatures made up of joined oddities. Their blood is wrong, their bodies, their look, their minds, their souls.
They are named only after their survival is sure. Adelaida and Ivan and they are deceptively beautiful like their names. But even the devil was beautiful once.
The Montgomery name is polished and shining once again, respected and it is Richard and not Charles that the Boston Medical Journal writes praises to, for not only are the children regarded as caricatures of perfection when one looks beyond their scared chests and their abominable souls they are also special, but only by those who spend their lives going blind over medicine textbooks and specimen collections, to anyone else they are merely peculiar novelties.
They are wrong.
Conjuncture of bodies is a defect of identical fetuses in utero.
Ada and Van.
A girl and a boy.
But they are, and only when a man of science from far overseas from a country own by another sees them he and Richard earn title and money and fame from the confirmation that the impossible is possible.
They are identical, conjoined, separate sexes, scarred, mentally intact, twin children. The girl is a product of a mutation from an egg that has lost a sex chromosome, a new mutation only accepted officially in nineteen thirty-eight. The odds are astronomically improbable; that they should be conjoined as well is as improbable as them having been melted together by holy light. Or more likely, hell fire.
God has no part of the children she's seen born as one creature, they may as well be made from the poisonous seed of the Devil himself. Their father is proud and old, their mother is docile and insane, they are wrong and they can see her and the thing in the basement, they are unfazed and unfrightened and so very unnatural.
As they grow she is sure that it is only because it is her first attempt that the house has made them wrong and corrected them worse.
The air of aristocracy they are born to only makes them more inhuman, money and boredom and their shared look leads to things that Nora cannot bear to watch.
It only takes one.
Long, slow years.
They are horrible, depraved, wrong children.
Richard dies first.
Then the boy from pneumonia, he is subject to his small feeble lungs
Then the girl from an aortic aneurysm, she is faulted by her weak heart.
Nora refuses to say their names, lest it draw them to her after they're dead, they remain regardless to color her lonely existence a shade more awful than before.
Dolores survives them all in her crazed stupor, tattered nightgown, mismatched house robe, graying hair, rotting teeth, and sagged old lolling sideways sandbag tits. Twenty-one years after everyone else has died Dolores wanders, half-blind, deaf, addled by strong sedatives and corrosive barbiturates. She has help down the stairs. Nora is weary. It only takes a rucked up rug and unsteady banister.
The nurses come next. Nun-like and much too pious. When two die from a man in the night, random, cruel, distasteful, they all leave.
A half-hearted halfway house for the mentally disturbed comes after and even she isn't at the point where she means to let the male patients steal a staff nurse away in the night and drag her away in a supply room to take turns, but Nora's a dead woman and what can she do to prevent such things if they should occur?
The woman jumps from the roof after and her body splayed on the brick below is jeered and gesticulated at from the windows by the lunatics.
A man sets fire to her beautiful home. Nora finds him and his wife and his children born before they've sheltered themselves inside her home too ugly and ill-mannered and feeble in mind to be of any use.
The house rots.
The Virginian debutante brings it back to life. Out of her children only one does Nora find no fault with.
He is beautiful but he is just as wrong as the last, the pair, her own nephew and niece by the bonds of marriage, not loyalty or blood but nephew and niece all the same. His flaws are in the same vein as the mongoloid girl; though he isn't one himself there is something in his manner that belays a violent wrongness.
The house fixes him too, but not in a way that helps. It's worse. It's not a fix, she realizes then, but a change. She only needs one, and he is not it either.
The maid is barren.
The next inhabitants are sodomites.
The Doctor's mistress is not enclosed, entombed, by the walls of her once lush and warm home. It's sharp and cold now, like the air she no longer breaths or the ache in her heart, the pain in her skull.
And now she repeats her mantra, only one, only one, only one.
And she reprimands the wayward "doctor," honestly, she finds him more fraud than Freud and sends him to save the child that may be the one that's perfect about to be cut out by the poor, dead, demented girl who's expelling her own unborn child in bits and pieces. Tragic and sad but still necessary.
Only one and then Nora can be happy, she thinks, yes, she can be happy, again, like she was once, so long ago that she can't recollect the years in-between then and now exactly like she should be able to. She glides through rooms and grimaces at the change in fashions and furniture time has caused while the two living women in the house sleep and the doctor cries alone outside in the chill of the autumn night amidst smashed gourds and wet leaves.
"You are a horrible old wretch, Auntie Nor."
The girl rolls a tennis ball, yellow and furry, around on her open palm, half interested but adept enough to not have it drop and bounce away down the dark hall.
"Leave me be, you impertinent girl."
The girl's curls bounce and her lips make a moue that becomes a quick, sour, wicked grin, "This is not your place, old woman."
"This is my house."
"Design of and dominion of are two different things entirely," the voice is from the boy. His hair long and roguish and dark like his sister's, he is taller only because of her defect.
"Go away," Nora waves her handkerchief in dismissal. They don't leave, they never do, and they never listen. They exchange a glance. The girl looks up at her and does not move from her sprawl across the bottom stairs, her knees knocking together and white pleated skirt waving over tan thighs.
"You are dreadful and you have no place here any longer," she informs Nora with the air of an anatomist dissecting a small creature, the girl always has been one to play at medicine in the same basement as her father and uncle before her.
"I'm the reason this house was built. Go on, shoo."
Nora yanks the girl's curls halfheartedly. Her tiny teeth are sharp and white. Nora rips her hand away and stares at the crenulations. "We're the reason it's still here," the girl snarls.
"All you've done is make messes for us to tidy," her brother drawls from his lean against the banister.
"It's all very tiring, and rude of you," the primness is back in his sister's tone as she rises, Nora sidesteps away, not wanting to stand close enough to smell the Rosemary oil perfume the girl has always worn.
The older woman cannot help the glare she gives them both, "You are unwelcome here."
"No we aren't, silly," and the girl sways away, her fingers interlocked behind her back and legs taking strides without bending her knees, whimsical and childish, mocking.
"Not when compared to you," her brother offers an arm.
"You are the one who invited us, and the one who gave all this to us. To take care of, and still you persist on staying, for what? What's left for you here?" The question is shocking and Nora cannot believe the girl has the gall to say such things, and to her face no less. The sassy and cheeky and horrible monster child is loathsome.
"Everything was left undone." It's an insistence.
"You don't have to stay anywhere forever, you can leave like you've always wanted," it's called out to Nora's ascending back as she climbs the stairs by the boy.
"It is late; I won't listen to your nonsense any longer."
"You don't want to stay, but you're scared. Frightened," he goes on.
"What's your fear good for?" The girl's bouncing the ball against the floor; the sound is distinctive and half-remembered.
"Hush now, intolerable monster girl."
She leaves and they stay.
Ada crosses her arms, "Hmph, sour old bitch."
Van rolls a cigarette. "You're in a mood," he mumbles handing it off for his sister to lick the line of. She hands it back and he's already lighting a match.
"You know why."
"I'm going to work on it, until everything is as it should be."
"You work too hard."
"I enjoy it," she throws her ball into the air and he catches it with flicked wrist flourish.
A/N: Adelaida and Ivan, or rather Ada and Van, are made up characters, I like them and the house needed some more early century ghosties for this story to happen. This is kind of just for fun and to try and make some connections with ideas I've been pondering and wondering about. Their names are taken from "Ada or Ardor. A Family Chronicle" By Vladimir Nabokov. There's a reason Adelaida's name is close to being Adelaide. Though Adelaida is a long 'a' and Adelaide is a short 'a'. Same with Ada and Addie. The reason why is nothing too complicated or shocking, old families usually have a family tree written down somewhere, like on the inside cover of a Bible or a book specifically for that purpose. Constance got the name Adelaide from seeing Adelaida's written down somewhere in the house during the time she lived there, she just added an 'e' to the end instead of an 'a' to modernize it and she pronounces it differently. The mutation mentioned is Turner's Syndrome or Mosaic Turner's Syndrome, and yes, you can in fact have identical twins that are boy and girl though eventually, genetically, they at a point are not identical unless Turner's Syndrome is Mosaic Turner's Syndrome which means there's two different types of genetic soup floating around in the female twin, a set of genes with one with the missing chromosome and the other with it intact, this is called Chimerism.