Summary: "I'm sorry you're not happy, anymore." He says it like an afterthought, it's the most truthful he thinks he's been in a long time, honest and simple.
Warning(s)/Kinks: Language, Sexual Situations, Violence, Drug Use, Non-Con/Dub-Con elements
Spoilers: Nothing specific but an overall for S1.
Disclaimer: I don't own American Horror Story.
A/N: Gift Fic for ohyellowbird. She wanted coked up Tate and crazy Tate and maybe some smut. The coked up part was short so I added more under the influence Tate in a way I think she'll appreciate. Also really wanted to make this as non-dialogue as possible for some weird reason, see how much I could say with as little talking as possible. And I tried to give every ghost in the house a cameo of some sort, which was harder than I thought, but I pulled it off. Some are only mentioned in passing but I did it!
It takes years.
She gets standoffish.
He gets bitter.
The house's other residents go dormant, tired, bored, mostly because they're old and the house stands empty of the living, there's nothing to do, no distraction, no entertainment, and there's a quiet thrum that goes through the quiet house.
Ghosts don't sleep, not really.
He wonders if the house dreams, if the thrum is the snoring of all its dead residents.
In the absence of most of the other ghosts it's easier to watch her, easier to sneak around without her mother or father popping out to glare or scowl or bludgeon him over the head with something as he shadows and stalks their daughter.
It's in the absence of every other ghost beside himself, her, his mother's old boy toy, the little girls in the basement, the twins who have a destructive streak and craggy old Moira that he starts to pay closer attention.
It's in the absence of the ghosts who can actually do something about his bad behavior that he acts on his obsessions, mostly because for all his watching he's discovered things more surprising than unsavory. She's not the youngest ghost of the house, but comparatively she hasn't been there long. Not as long as him or most of the others.
He decides the best reason to explain why she walks everywhere like she's still alive is because she hasn't figured out to get from one place to another in the house by any other way. He files the discovery away in his mind.
There's another one that means more to him besides the seemingly useless one of her lack of ghostly prowess. The house is big, but not big enough to avoid running into each other.
She leaves the room.
Or ignores him.
But she hasn't told him to go away in a long time.
Not that she says anything to him but the lack of those two simple words only turns his curiosity into a festering obsession with it.
There's no one around to tell him otherwise, no one to threaten him, no one to tell him what he can or can't do so he just does. He finds her. She knows he's there but he knows she doesn't know of his intentions to hit her over the head with a lamp.
She wakes up with her ankle shackled tight in the chain that kept his brother locked away like a dirty secret in the attic. She doesn't startle, she doesn't scream, she just rubs her head and grimaces at the bump her fingers stumble over. She lights a cigarette and stares at him staring at her.
"It doesn't work anymore, does it? That's why you don't say it, because you know it won't work."
"…" She blows out a drag and looks down at the chain, calmly, unconcerned. He knows it's an act just like she knows; inside she's seething and screaming.
"And you haven't figured out how to get around yet," he grins and her eyes swivel back to his face. "Takes awhile to pick it up."
There's a tick of her cheek when she clenches her jaw tight, "…"
"Aren't you going to say anything?"
She takes a quick drag, "Like what?" She rolls her eyes. "Let me go? What the fuck are you doing? Are you nuts?" She laughs hollowly to herself. "Kinda easy questions to answer: 'no', 'chaining you up in the attic', and 'totally, squirrels dig me'."
He ignores the cruel meanness of her words, the little barbs, sharp like her eyes and her tongue.
"It only works if you mean it. So what's it mean when 'go away' doesn't work anymore?"
"Means you don't want me to go away anymore."
"So?" Her tone is haughty.
"But it doesn't change that you meant it once."
He bristles, "I miss you and you don't care."
"So?" Her eyebrows raise and she blows out smoke and her lips twitch in a tiny smile, happy that she's hurting him.
"You ignore me and it makes me hate you. I don't want to hate you and you can't ignore me if you can't walk away."
Her eyes narrow, slowly. Her words are sinister and bare the slightest edge of an angry hiss, "Guess we'll find out."
"Guess we will," he challenges back.
She raises one shoulder and shifts her leg so the chain rattles, she drags her foot back and forth and the heavy links scratch across the floor "I'll figure it out; I'm not exactly an idiot."
"Sure, but, who knows, you might decide to give a shit again first."
"Or not," he agrees with a smirk.
"And then what?"
"Don't know," he doesn't, not really, "you'll probably be pretty pissed off if you get out."
"Yeah, probably," her sarcasm does not go unnoted, it makes him smile sadly, "So what is this? One of your twisted fantasies?"
"If it was you'd be naked."
"Unless you'd prefer being naked, because I'm not raising any objections."
She doesn't turn her head away at the way he looks at her, up and down in a slow once over, she isn't cowed by the threat he isn't likely to carry out.
"So I'm in time out?"
She goes silent and he does too. He watches her finish her cigarette and flick the butt in his direction.
"I'm going to get out."
And he knows the implication of an eventual escape as much as she does, "In a day, a month, a year, a decade, a century, who knows? Makes it interesting, doesn't it?"
"If you say so," her words are clipped.
"Wanna play cards?" He brandishes a pack.
"…" She flips him the bird and walks as far away across the attic as the chain allows. She leans against the opposite wall and in the dark light of dusk he can barely make her out.
"Solitaire then," he mumbles to himself loud enough for her to hear.
A month goes by before anyone else comes up to the attic. When they do they all but fall over at the look of her, dusty and chain-up, her hair a ragged mess and her eyes heavy with dark circles.
Travis rattles her chain as if to make sure she isn't dead, which is funny in itself to the two occupants of the attic, only one of which he notices.
"Leave it alone," she all but grumbles from her statue still huddle at the other end of the attic. The man just gapes from her to the long chain of linked iron, nudging it with the toe of his black motorcycle boot.
He pushes his hair back with a sweeping arm and bounces from foot to foot, peering around the attic, crossing his arms and uncrossing them, uncomfortable and confused with the situation.
"It's none of your business," she tells him.
"Oh," the man looks back down at the heavy chain and slowly a small strangled smile appears, "he's one of those guys. Right?"
Violet blows out an irritated breath and knocks her head back against the wall, staring at the ceiling, "He's just him."
"I get it; this is some weird sex thing, right?"
She glares at him before softening when he raises his hands as if to tell her it's her business, she goes back to considering the underside of the nail studded roof. She takes a slow breath, "Go away."
The older man is gone when she removes her gaze from the ceiling.
"You don't want to get out?"
He's not surprised, just curious. Always curious.
"Winner takes all, Tate. That's how this game works."
"If that's how you want to play."
It's three months before her carefully squandered pack of cigarettes dwindles down to nothing. He brandishes a carton brought over from next door that's meant for Travis that he's stolen.
She stares for a moment. At them. And then back at him. And then she closes her eyes.
He waits for her to say something, he waits but there's nothing.
"So you're quitting now?"
"Just take them."
He drops them at her feet and she turns around and sits facing the wall.
She's sitting in the same spot, the same way when he shows up a week later. The attic floor littered with neatly stripped white paper, pulled out filters and piles of tobacco shavings everywhere.
He wants to yell at her, to yank her up, scare her. Instead he leaves.
For a month.
When he comes back she's sitting, staring at the wall, exactly the same as when he'd left.
A new family moves in.
The house rumbles, stretching, slowly waking up again.
He feels the anxiousness of nerves, that someone less dumb than Travis will go up into the attic and find her.
They don't, and he's happy.
A new school year starts; she's been in the attic eight months.
She hasn't spoken to him.
He starts spending everyday in the attic, staring back at her, sometimes she turns around and stares at the wall, sometimes she lies on the floor and stares at the ceiling.
She doesn't talk.
He doesn't either.
The family has a son, he's sixteen. His taste in music is loud and abhorable, he's got a problem with hyperactivity, algebra, and authority figures, he gets a girlfriend sometime late in the school year; the relationship extends over into the summer. He brings her into the attic; they smoke up and share a bottle of rum from his father's liquor cabinet.
She's drunk, he's handsy, and they fuck sloppily.
She watches, he watches. They don't talk.
The girl doesn't enjoy it much, she cries, the boy is a careless drunk, he falls asleep on the floor and the girl gets dressed and stumbles downstairs to wash off her streaked mascara and brush the stink of booze from her mouth before she stumbles home, sore and feeling cheap.
Beau's old red rubber ball is heavy and loud when it bounces off the opposite wall. She likes the sound because he hates the sound. Still he grits his teeth and shows up every day, all day, and watches her. Curious. Hoping she'll snap. Hoping she'll break down. Hoping she'll say something, anything.
The ball bangs off the wall. Over and over and over again.
She says nothing.
His jaw hurts from grinding his teeth all day.
She's been wearing the same clothes for well over a year, he brings her new ones. She throws them to the other side of the attic.
There're blankets and pillows and she sleeps on the floor instead of the nest of feather-down in the corner.
Her hair is a tortured mess, wild and knotty. Her eyes have a shine to them that's crazed. Her gaze follows things that he can't see.
Her stare is an accusation from a dark corner.
He knows she doesn't move anymore. Not when he's around, he'd hear the rattle of the chain.
Some days he thinks he can hear her breathe, close like she's standing behind him but she's always across the attic, staring at him and she's so still that if he didn't know from day after day of staring back at her that his eyes would roll over her shape in the shadows as some inanimate object left behind by some frightened or murdered house occupant.
He's downstairs, spying on the kid again. Until he leaves for god knows where. He goes through his room with no real interest. He's bored and listless and there's nothing better to do. He doesn't like the attic at night, he can barely see her. It makes his skin crawl. She could be anywhere in the dark and for some reason the notion doesn't scare him as much as it excites him.
He finds the kid's meds.
Hyperactivity medication. Stimulants. His own brand of poison. Pharmaceutically safe Speed, prescribed and filled and high octane rocket fuel. The kid is addicted, probably counts his pills but it doesn't matter much to him if the kid flips his shit over half a bottle gone.
He finds coke in the kid's party drawer, all lubricant and condoms and stolen maternal valiums.
He does lines right on top of a trigonometry textbook and rubs his nose furiously on the back of his hand, his head feels perforated, like a cheese grater with a breeze going through it. He feels like Superman. The idea to go to into the attic seems like good one, especially with a hard, steady buzz booming in his brain and bones.
"Fucking say something."
He's yanked her from the wall, across the floor, she looks up at him and he fumes down, dragging his fingertips over the pattern her hair makes across the floor under her head.
Her face is all soft and shadow in the sodium yellow glow of the moon and streetlamp light flooding in through the window.
"You're driving me insane."
He feels wetness leaking out of his face; blood speckles the bridge of her nose the high puffy crests of her cheeks, her eyebrows. Her eyes narrow when blood falls onto her eyelid, she blinks it away and he smears it across her cheeks and chin like war paint.
Her forehead furrows and her jaw clenches and she looks so much the little savage.
He paints her mouth with a red fingertip, pulls open her lips and makes her smile and then snarl at him; bare her sharp little eyeteeth and pink gums at him.
She stoic and cold.
He runs a hand up her skirt, she doesn't even flinch, he touches the heat between her thighs, rubs, touches her in all the ways she's moaned for before, forever ago, her hips don't jerk up, her breath doesn't hitch, he makes her wet but that alone isn't much consolation.
His fingers slip inside her body and she says nothing, she doesn't move, she breathes the same patterned rhythm she's always breathed and she stares at him.
"Fuck you," he hisses when he pulls his fingers from her.
He traces the patterns in her hair again, wraps them around his fingers, lifts her head, bashes it into the floor, she makes sounds, but not ones that wouldn't come from anything that's having their head smashed open, he wants her to cry like a girl should, beg him, plead, say his name like a fucking person. She doesn't.
Blood fills out the pattern her hair makes, all across the floor boards.
His head feel perforated again, he holds it and there's a pain down his neck into his arm, something he can't see squeezes his chest, makes him fall down, something in his temple pops. He screams like a boy's whose head is exploding.
The blood on his face is a dried crust when he wakes up, and he's already looking for her, she isn't where she'd been lying dead, where he'd killed her, there's a puddle and chips of tissue and tufts of old hair and skull on the floor. He follows the links in the chain.
He follows them but not fast enough.
She pushes him from behind and sits on the backs of his shoulders, the chain under his throat, her little leg drags it hard underneath when she puts her foot on the floor next to the side of his neck, she stretches out her leg and turns links over her knuckles and he can't move, her weight keeps him pinned and he suffocates slowly, perfectly.
He dies, again, barely registering when she grabs the sides of his head and bashes his face into the floor, breaking his nose and teeth and his cheekbones and jaw with how hard to smashes it into the floorboards.
He wakes up at dawn, his face is whole and so is her head, probably, he guesses. She's picking skull out of her hair and flicking it at him, she's bloody and dusty and her hair is a matted mess. She stares at him. He stares back.
"I guess I deserved that."
She says nothing.
The kid goes away to college upstate. His parents move to their summer house in the Hamptons the house is empty again.
He's seen Nora wandering around again and has heard a baby crying at night. He can smell her mother's perfume sometimes.
Soon the other ghosts will be active again, sated and no longer sleepy. Eventually someone will come up into the attic. The notion has him terribly frazzled and frantic. He sets up the chessboard. He's never gotten good at it he hopes she'll scurry over and call checkmate.
"Play with me."
Her silence makes him want to sob, he scowls instead.
"Fine. Be that way."
It's four months afterwards that he sees Ben.
And hears him and Vivien talking. They can't find Violet, they're worried. He goes up into the attic and stays all day, all night, in a rotation that makes him lose count of the days until finally he sighs and unlocks the cuff around her foot. She lets him, staring at him.
She rolls her ankle. And looks at his face. He cradles her cheeks.
"There. I'm sick of this, talk to me again. Please."
She leans in, takes his hands off her face and smiles, slow and mean.
And she disappears.
He sits for a long time, staring at the wall.
She's taken a shower and put on new clothes. She's having something close to what's probably her hundredth cigarette in the three days since she disappeared, outside, far from her parents who sit together playing with their dead baby, cooing and giggling and busy being happy without her. Maybe she doesn't want to be he acknowledges.
Her mouth tilts up in the corner and her gaze shifts to where he stands at the railing of the gazebo.
He asks the one question that sums up all the others. In the end the reason why she stayed so long in the attic is the only one that matters. The only question whose answer actually means something to him. She takes a drag and holds it in her lungs, staring at the burning tip before blowing it out throw her nostrils.
"I don't need you to let me win to beat you at your stupid fucking games."
She jumps off the railing and takes off across the backyard, walking, like she always has despite being able to go wherever she wants with little more than a thought.
It's only then that he realizes she walks to where she wants to go because it's what people who aren't dead do. She never did want to die, after all. Not by herself, not with him, not with her family around her.
"What do you want?"
Her knees and the tops of her feet are pink from an extra hot shower. So are her cheeks and throat. He knows all the other parts of her body that are pink too, he just can't see them. She's going through the closet in the master bedroom, searching with no real interest.
She closes the closet and walks over to where he's standing, slumped back with his hip pressed into the edge of the computer desk.
"Come on then, do it," she pushes him away and sits on the desk, the robe showing off the tops of her pink thighs.
He looks up at her flushed face and her hands fist his shirt, she hisses at him, "Rape me. Maybe this time you won't pussy out."
He shoves off her hands and pushes her shoulders, hard, but not hard enough to mean something.
Her hands push back.
"Now who's playing stupid fucking games?"
But he pushes apart her knees, feels the damp, heat of her skin, fresh and steaming and hotter than anything else he's ever touched. He pulls her head back and pulls at the knot in her robe, it opens and he pushes it off her shoulders. Her tiny breasts are soft and girlish and they're pink too, he pinches a nipple hard and drags her closer, roughly.
He hand cups her, her hips jostle away, hard, and her eyes are angry.
His brief pause is what kills him.
She's stabbing him in the neck with a fountain pen, until it's covered in the cartilage of his larynx and he slumps hard down the front of her body, smearing blood down her neck and chest and robe and is dying on the floor at her feet.
She crouches down and wipes the gruesome pen off on his jeans and watches him die, "I win."
Later he's alive and bloody and she's cleaning the red pattern of it off her face and neck and chest and legs with a cold washcloth, he watches from the bathroom doorway. She meets his eyes in the mirror.
The door slams in his face, he barely jumps, it's expected.
"You're fucked up," she tells him pointing lazily in some vague direction with her cigarette.
"Yeah, I am," he agrees shoving his hands deep into his pockets, "I'm sorry," he adds after a moment.
"Bet you are."
Her tone is scornful.
"I am," he insists.
"Whatever," she blows out smoke hard and holds the next drag in her throat.
"I'm sorry you're not happy, anymore."
He says it like an afterthought, it's the most truthful he thinks he's been in a long time, honest and simple.
Whatever it is she's expected him to say it isn't that. The reaction is like a visible crack forming all the way down her, splitting her in half, a perfect fracture, her head whips around so fast he stops, rigid, utterly unable to move. Her confusion is some precise thing, a solar eclipse of everything she is and all the sand and grit of her turns to glass and she's so breakable he's scared to move in case of causing another crack. Smoke drifts out of her mouth, working for words but finding none.
She shakes herself and vaults the brick ledge, stumbling out of the hedge and disappearing around the side of the house, leaving her last exhale of blue smoke behind.
"Those are mine," she states sitting at the kitchen table picking at a handful of cracker snacks in her cupped palm.
"Relax princess, it's only one," the dark haired man mumbles around the filter of the filched cigarette.
She sees him.
Her eyes don't even widen.
Her eyebrows don't rise.
Her mouth doesn't drop open in shock.
His shoulders hitch up at the sound of metal rasping out of the knife block.
He stabs him in the back until he drops the cigarette onto the kitchen island, keeps stabbing, enjoying the way flesh parts from around the intrusion. It's all vaguely sexual he realizes, the rush is different but not so much.
She stares at the body on the tiles kitchen floor and then casts her gaze back up to the boy holding the knife.
"Why'd you do that?"
He shrugs, "Just trying to be helpful."
He gives her the cigarette, she tucks it behind her ear, he throws the knife into the sink flippantly and leaves the room.
The first time he touches her again is on impulse. The day starts boring, ends only mildly interesting in his mindset while still inebriated on anesthesia fumes, and becomes a jewel of precious moments only in retrospect. It starts dimly enough.
"I really can't fathom these modern fashions at all."
Nora quips to no one in particular staring out into the backyard from the open door of the basement.
"Cheap. And vulgar," she continues.
He stands in the same spot after she leaves and catches sight of Violet lying out in the sun in a bathing suit too large in the top but striped black and yellow like a bumblebee, her mother lies out next to her, filling out her own out much better but he gives Vivien no more than a cursory glance before staring at the paler of the pair.
She's anything but cheap or vulgar and the insinuation is irritating. He turns away from the door.
"You shriek more than that baby," he says simply enough.
"Who are you? Why are you in my house?"
She flounders and looks irritated and confused bordering on hysterical. There's nothing but a blunt sort of hate for her now. After everything that's happened.
Her throat is thin and frail under his hands and she's half-lit anyway on medication that melts under the tongue that's been banned for decades and what she still thinks is bootleg whiskey from the cabinet upstairs.
He leaves her where he strangles her and goes off to find something to do. He finds Charles contemplating the sudden silence of the basement.
"It's quiet." He sounds particularly cheerful at the notion.
Tate takes up seat next to the mad doctor.
"How'd you fall in love with her?"
"Oh…well," Charles pauses to bite off a piece of surgical suturing. He starts threading the large needle talking as he fumbles with it, "We met occasionally over the years, we were both very young and she was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen." He takes the needle and suturing from Charles and threads it for him while the dead doctor goes on, "She seemed so bored by everything. Like she was never happy, it was…," he pauses and takes the needle out of his offering hand, "Intoxicating. I was young, and foolish and in love. The only thing that's changed is now I'm old."
Charles takes a hit.
Tate takes the medical mask lined with absorbent and soaked with ether medical wound packing from his loose grip.
"Easy, it's strong."
"I've had worse."
He takes four deep breathes and feels his brain flip over and float in cerebrospinal fluid, doing a doggy paddle in his skull.
"Hold this." Charles hands him an instrument.
"What are you making?"
"I'm trying to splice the animal kingdom with the botanical. The results are dismal. Thus far, of course. These things take time."
He nods because like Charles he's high and nothing seems odd about the doctor when impaired.
It's late when Charles put away his work and leans back in his chair, taking heavy whiffs of ether and saying without words that the macabre slice and dice of the day is done.
Tate stumbles upstairs, swaying around doorframes, swinging though rooms until he ends up in the kitchen.
She's leaning across the island on her elbows, rocking a glass of something back and forth under her palm, bored. He crowds up behind her, slaps his hands on either sides of her elbows and breaths in the hot scent of sweat and sun block off the back of her hot nape.
He's pretty sure he slurs his greeting, and he's positive he rubs himself against her ass, and he might have imagined her pushing back briefly.
She asks what he's doing and he must answer something that sounds like it's coming from someone who's high because her next question is what the fuck he's gotten high on.
He giggles like a girl and says her name.
She answers with a 'what' in question form.
He says 'you' instead and decides it's better to touch her than talk to her.
His hand runs up the back of her thigh, lifting her skirt and then with his other hand the back of her skirt, her back is hot and her spine is a ladder with kissable rungs, his mouth is wet and sloppy and he ends up licking her back instead of kissing it and sun block tastes horrible but she shivers and he smiles.
She lets out a gasp and kicks him in the shin, eyes alert while his are lazy and lagging after her while she walks away just as Moira walks in, unassuming but giving him the evil eye with her dead eye.
He sticks his tongue out and slaps the glass on the counter to the floor. The old woman purses her lips, turns on the sink and sprays him with the hose. He laughs hysterically until he the taste of sun block on his tongue makes him nauseous enough to vomit down his shirt front and she kicks him out of the kitchen.
He wakes up under the laundry line when it starts raining; he vomits on the fresh sheets hanging around him for good measure.
He doesn't know why it happens but he sees it when it does.
Sees her father's ex-whore push her down the stairs, and leave while she's groaning at the foot of them nursing what looks like a few broken ribs but nothing more sinister and nothing that won't heal in a few minutes.
Still he sees it and he finds an appropriate vintage from the family's wine lattice down in the basement, an appropriate vintage in an appropriately heavy bottle.
Hayden comes looking for a quick fuck with what was his mother's favorite piece of twenty-something ass. He hits her in the back of the head and she crumbles quickly. He hits her again, over and over until she's dead.
He knows she sees him do it, knows she's right behind him so he speaks, "Looked like it hurt when you fell."
She snorts indelicately, "No, it tickled."
Her fingers wrap around the neck of the bottle, under the line of his and he let's go. He expects the frown on her face, but not its direction, she stares at the body on the floor. The frown disappears and is replaced by one of rapt concentration, he watches her shift her grip and walk closer, waiting for the older woman to reanimate.
When she does it's with a groan and a gurgle.
Violet crouches and swings a leg over her waist, the sole of her doc martin grinding across the rough cement floor.
"Hey. You alive yet?"
"Coming to my rescue, kid?"
The bottom of the bottle collapses the older woman's nose into her face. He's never heard teeth shatter before, it's like firecrackers going off in the room, and he watches her break the woman's skull, watches the shape of her cheek bones and eye sockets cave in.
Finally when her blows become weak and flimsy he watches her smash the bottle into sharp edges against the floor and stab wildly.
There's blood everywhere, bits of bone, enamel shrapnel and glass litter the floor.
When she gets up and extends the broken bottle out to him her hands are a mess of viscera and the glass neck of the bottle is slippery through the smear of it.
He says nothing, just the gruesome offering from her.
"I didn't fall." She says it like he doesn't already know, like she doesn't either, but they do.
She leaves, stomping up the stairs.
Under the ragged denim of his jeans he's hard.
The twins' propensity for being shitheads is taken to a new level when they spend the day leaning over the second floor banister, waiting for someone to walk into range.
She shrieks when a well aimed throatful of snot and spit hit her in upraised face when she looks up to see what's so funny a floor above.
He catches one of them, he doesn't know which, but it doesn't matter the second one always follows not far behind.
"What the fuck! Shit, no! Ge'off! I'm not! No! Fuck, Bryan! Help! Get the fuck offme asshole!"
"Thaddeus is sick of eating cats."
He pushes the boy into the dark room of the basement, he waits and when he's waited long enough he listens. He leans against the stairs and rolls his shoulder in time with the rolling of the handle of the kid's bat over the palm of his hand. The noises of Thaddeus enjoying lunch cease before the basement door bangs open and the kid's brother shouts down the stairs.
It takes a small forever for the kid to find his balls and start down the stairs, shaky and unsure, already knowing something is wrong but not listening to the warning voice in his mind telling him to run back up stairs and give up on his search.
The metal bat, when it hits the back of the kid's head sends a vicious vibration up his fingers and wrist and arm and shoulder. It feels good.
He drags him along to the room where Thaddeus is still hungry.
When he's finished he goes into the backyard and finds a wayward pet toy from next door in the grass, he throws it up into the air and misses it when he swings. She's smoking by the brick pillars and makes a snide remark on his baseball skills.
He can't help but smile.
The first time he kisses her again is the first time she's ever initiated one between them. He's surprised but not enough to not kiss back; it does however end too soon. As is the custom he realizes.
She's playing Trivial Pursuit with the only ghosts who really have a chance at beating her; they only do so because they all happened to be alive when the questions being asked were actual events.
The nurses are less murder victim and more sorority girl since they came out of their funk, the big one sits and smokes and watches a medical drama with a surly doctor wearing his five day growth and bum leg like most other real doctors wear latex gloves. She calls out answers to everyone's questions and smiles to herself when they yell at her.
The one who once drifted around like a stuck pig and bemoaned her death like a looped recording wears cashmere and a skirt too long to be fashionable anymore.
And for once the Dahlia isn't prancing about in her underwear.
It's like a slumber party heavy on the cigarettes and snark and devoid of the pillow fights and thongs and Sapphic experimentation he's seen in pornographic representations.
They're having fun until the slit throat wannabe murderers show up and gawk at actually seeing the women who's autopsy photos they've most likely masturbated over at least once playing board games with a girl they almost murdered.
He drags one into the basement, the other comes screaming after him and he's forced to throw the woman down the stairs and pummel her male cohort into submission and finally unconsciousness and stomp on his head and toss him down too.
The guy his mother likes for everything but his conversational skills and superior brain functioning chastises him and helps him move the bodies out of sight of the two little girls playing princess somewhere further in the basement.
She's coming down the stairs as he's about to start up them. She pushes him back and away and forces him against the wall. Her lips are chapped and wet and her tongue slips in searching for his.
He wants to ask why, but he figures it has something to do with him saving the slumber party and specifics don't really matter when she pressing herself into the slumped curve of his body, her knee dragging up the wall roughly, scraping the skin, when she shoves her hips against his, tries to rock up against his pelvis, he's got a hand on the back of her head and another full of soft girl curves and there's a gasp and then a little yell and a laugh, and the high pitch of little girls playing princess stumbling upon them.
"She's choking him!"
"Shut up you idiot! They're kissing!"
She pushes off and he turns the other way to hide an all too obvious hard-on.
Pretty boy comes around to corral the little girls back to their Barbies or whatever the burned little monsters like to play.
And when it's just them again he turns back to watch her walk backwards to the stairs and run up them. He doesn't follow her; instead he climbs up into the crawl space and jerks off underneath the floor of the room she's escaped to.
The dead can't sleep, not like the living do, but they drift, expand out of their own claustrophobic selves for awhile, if they want. The older ghosts do it more often but he knows she's tired, very tired. Knows how much she wants to rest. He knows the wailing from the basement is rendering her incapable of her few sparse hours, or days, or even years of brief, as close to unconscious bliss as she can get.
It hurts him in some deep, profound way because he loves her.
He goes down into the basement and finds Nora, useless in her task of rocking the child to sleep.
Vivian and Ben share the gazebo outside, drinking wine, staring at the stars, rediscovering the things they like about each other.
"Well it's about time," Nora sighs already getting up handing over the baby she wanted so badly, the baby that has made Violet into some icy stranger he doesn't recognize.
"I'll take care of it."
Nora waves a hand and raises the other to her hair, knocking loose a pin she doesn't realize hits the floor after her hand pulls away, "Yes, yes. I've heard that before."
The baby squeals and cries and is perfectly deserving of its other name: noisy little monster. He looks down at it and put the pillow over its face, stares at the wall until it stops squirming. Then he wraps the blanket tight over the pillow so it'll smother itself after he leaves for the rest of the night.
He comes up from the basement and finds her at the top of the second floor landing, barefoot and wearing an oversized t-shirt.
"Thought you went to bed," he whispers because it's the middle of the night and speaking in normal tones seems wrong somehow as he ascends the stairs, slowly.
She shrugs and rubs her arms, cold, always cold and scratchs the back of her ankle with her toes, "It's quiet now." She stares down into the darkness of the floor below.
"Kid stopped crying."
Her gaze slowly lifts up from the floor, she stares at him standing halfway on the stairs, "Yeah, he did." Her smile is small and grim but she turns and goes back to bed.
Her hands smooth over the shiny red hood of the car she'll never be old enough to drive. He wonders if she even knows how to drive.
"It's a Camaro."
The voice is familiar but rare in the house.
It's his father.
She scowls darkly at the older man, at the way he swaggers over smelling like old spice and cheap cigars and whiskey, at how he has eyes that are all too familiar to her, how he leers at her.
"Want to learn how to drive it? Stick-shift can be kind of tricky, especially the first time."
She leans out as he leans in and turns to the door.
"Helps if you've got a good teacher."
The tone is suggestive; she raises a brow and rolls her eyes.
He watches her blow smoke out in his father's face, turning with her hair whipping him in the face and knows it's only the sudden click of the trunk opening that distracts the older man from grabbing her and slamming her face first into the wall. And start ripping at her clothes. But she's already gone, unsuspecting of just how fucked up the paternal half of his parents is.
His father comes around to the back of the sports car where the truck is indeed open. Tate watches him push it up and look inside the empty space, and hits him from behind, slamming his head down onto the metal. He watches his father slump and crumble onto his knees.
Hugo looks up and there's no recognition in his eyes, just dazed confusion from being concussed and a probable skull fracture about to be a definite one.
He slams the truck down onto the back of his father's head, until an open fissure becomes visible and he sees gray matter.
The tassels on his father's leather loafers move when his feet twitch from lingering brain activity.
She's sitting outside the garage, head tilted back against the wall.
"Get into a tiff over your allowance."
He can't help it, he laughs. She smiles back and gets up, leaving him with a final once over that makes him tingle down to his toes.
She's playing chess with herself in the home office. He sits in the rolling chair and spins around and around until she opens her mouth and shuts it with a loud click of teeth, he stops spinning and puts his elbows on his knees, waiting for her to open her mouth and start talking.
Her eyes don't leave the board but he can tell they're staring too hard, not really looking at the little black and white pieces when she speaks.
"Are you killing everyone to…," she pauses and her eyes move like they're waiting to read the word she's looking for in the air somewhere on the wall, "flirt with me?"
"Maybe." Or totally.
"That's fucked up."
She moves the remaining white knight captures a bishop.
"I know," he starts spinning again.
"I miss you."
He stops spinning, "I love you."
She looks at him and smirks before smiling a little with her eyes on the floor, "Yeah, yeah. I know."
"Love you?" She looks up and her eyebrows rise.
"What do you think?"
"I don't know."
He doesn't, not really, not completely, maybe he just needs to hear it.
"I never said I didn't love you, ever."
She lights a cigarette, "I love you; I just didn't like you very much for awhile."
"So you like me again?"
She shrugs, "Why'd you want to chain me up in the attic?"
He crosses his arms and looks up at the ceiling, "I just wanted to be close to you again."
She puffs on her filter.
"Why didn't you keep going? Why'd you kill me instead of fucking me?"
"Because it would have been morally objectionable?"
He answers with uncertainly, mostly because the answer is bullshit, mostly because shoving his fingers in her, while not as bad as shoving his dick in her, is still pretty bad, mostly he just isn't sure he wouldn't have stopped if her expression had been anything other than blank.
She laughs, hysterically.
He laughs too.
It's their brand of humor.
The first time he makes her cum again is mostly the result of his goading and her pride and maybe old habits they share.
She's surly. And adorable. The chair is too big for her small frame and one leg hangs limp and folded down to the floor while the other hangs over the leather arm.
Her forsaken shoe lies to the wayside on the other side of the chair and her swollen extremity is wrapped up too tightly for comfort. He doesn't know exactly what happened but somehow she'd made it back up the stairs and into the guest bedroom, banging her foot on the stairs more than once.
The gays fight loudly in another room, a door slams and someone cries in the background. The blond one stops to collect himself and takes deep breath, he walks passed the doorway into her sightline, she's not smiling, just observing the fallout.
"Hey, you're like a nurse right?"
He looks wary and glances around as if expecting the more homicidal blonde of the house to jump out at any moment before relaxing incrementally, "Emergency Medical Technician."
"Okay, can you look at it and tell me if it's broken?" She waves her foot.
"Why should I?"
"Then don't." She shakes her head and shrugs. Patrick purses his lips and finally gives the room one last look before stepping in, "Fine."
He starts unwrapping her proffered foot.
"Can I ask you a question?"
"That was a question," he grumbles letting ACE bandage spiral to the floor.
"Can I ask you another question?"
"That was another question."
He cradles her ankle with his thumbs and presses into the black and blue of it, feeling for a break.
"Ow," it's the last words she speaks for a while.
"You gonna ask or what?"
"Why do you fuck other guys when you know it really hurts Chad?"
"…" Patrick's head snaps up and Tate can't help but grin from the hallway at the look on his face.
"Are you like a sex addict?" She presses.
"Then why? Aren't you guys supposed to be madly in love or some shit?"
She makes a sound in her throat and looks at the wall, thoughtful.
"Is it because he's like a girl now?" She asks about the man's wife, husband, whatever.
"He was always kind of a queen, more Lucy than Ricky, but no, it's complicated. He's too neurotic. He needs to relax. And I can't do it for him so…yeah, that's that."
"Yeah." He rewraps her foot.
"Yeah." He gets up, "It's just sprained.""
He pauses awkwardly for a second and outside the room Tate wonders whether she and the gay are going to shake hands or something. Instead she just comes out with, "And listen, can you stop eye fucking my dad, in front of my mom? It makes her uncomfortable and she gets the compulsive need to make sure they have sex as loud as they can so everyone knows they're having sex."
"Tell him to keep his shirt on. He's a dilf," Patrick laugh sand the tension in the room is gone.
"You and loony toons aren't so quiet yourselves."
"Don't gimme that, either you're fucking each other or killing each other."
"Yeah, we haven't done it since way back before the shit hit the fan."
"Well fuck." He lets loose a gasp everyone else would expect from his partner, "No. Really?"
"Careful you're starting to sound like an extra from the Birdcage. Yeah we haven't."
"That's what she said," she retorts wearily.
"You're such a kid."
"Ice it later."
He appears in the doorway.
"Want me to help?"
"Got any ice."
"Did you take online classes and earn a medical degree?"
She waves her hand pompous and haughty and he smiles, "Then how are you gonna help? I'm really not in the mood for chess, or Scrabble, or Rummy, or stupid movies."
"Endorphins help with pain relief. Getting off might help," he wonders if she's in the mood for his brand of medicine.
"It might," she agrees. He can't read the smile, it could be cruel or amused or happy but she hasn't been happy in awhile so he doubts that much.
"I want to touch you."
"So? Do it." She shifts in the chair and puts a leg up on the ottoman. He steps in and kicks the door shut, "Are you going to disappear?"
Her expression becomes condescending, all wide eyes a fake surprise at the notion, "Well that would depend on whether or not you're actually trying this time, last time you fingered me you were high and pretty bad at it."
"Wasn't going to use my fingers."
And he kneels, tossing her hurt foot over his shoulder up to the knee and starts pulling down her leggings and underwear until she removes her free leg.
He pulls her down into the seat of the chair and her head tilts back against the back of the chair, her chest rising and falling rapid quick. It's strange to be back between her legs, probably only because she treats it like they're playing a board-game or talking about the weather.
She doesn't quite pull off looking bored, just mildly interested in what he's doing, like she's waiting for him to entertain her. The look goes away as soon as he plants a wet kiss to the soft bare skin between her naked hips, she shivers, sensitive, always sensitive.
He licks, she squirms and pulls her skirt up around her waist to keep it from blocking the view, he grins and dabs at her clit. She gives a little mewl and her head arches back.
She cradles the back of his neck and bites her bottom lip red. He pulls her hips closer and her little toes push against the floor hard, foot shaking from the strain.
He hears the wet pop of her fingers coming out of her mouth and feels them against his chin when she slips her hand down between her cunt and his mouth and pushes them in, he watches, and tries to swipe at them with his tongue when she pumps them in and out.
"God, use your fingers," she whines and tilts her hips up for another flick of his tongue, she rubs her cheek into the leather of the chair and glances down at him with her one visible eye, smiling, he grins back and her insides clench when his fingers take the place of hers. Her fingers aresticky on his cheek, a wet brand.
"One more," she breathes and he throbs knowing it's because the stretch of three is closer to the stretch of his cock.
She's tight around his knuckles, and her hands find purchase to hold her weight when she presses forward and pulls back in time with his fingers. Her breaths come out ragged until they stop altogether and she starts grinding against his hand.
He runs a quick tongue over the fingertips of his free hand and tries to pinch her clit but it's small and slippery and the best her can do is rub at it frantically, she starts breathing again, barely, in quick little jabs and her body tries to swallow his fingers.
"What time is it?" She asks when he puts her other leg down and her knees close. She's satisfied, he's not far behind, just a few strokes of his hand and he'll be just as euphoric.
He glances at the clock, "Almost one."
"You have to go."
Wham, bam, thank you ma'am he all but says out loud.
"My mom practices every day at one, she's trying to teach me. But she'll skin you alive if she sees you."
"Might wanna put your panties back on then," he smirks at her leggings and underwear still around one leg, glad she's only kicking him out because her mother hates him while she actually still likes him enough to let him put his face between her knees.
Gingerly she takes them off, trying to keep her bandaging in place and shoves her leggings under the chair and extends her panties to him on a delicate pinky.
"Keep them. Scram. Go on, get."
He smiles, she smiles back.
The first time he has sex with her again is unexpected on his part and planned on hers.
He sees her one day in the basement observing the two little girls playing with Travis but stubbornly refusing to do more than lean against the wall and watch while involved in a quiet discussion with their equally crispy mother.
"They'd love another playmate, you know. They're so sweet, my girls."
He hears her curse at her lighter, out of butane.
"Here dear," Lorraine extends a smoldering hand and Violet lights her cigarette of the burning skin.
The next day he can't find her anywhere. He's not looking particularly hard but he's only vaguely bored, considering taking a nap in the backyard despite not being particularly tired. He convinces himself that he wants to watch the clouds, though when he's at the backdoor and finds Vivien pruning roses he puts an 'x' through his plans.
He steps back into Ben.
The man just glares, still angry at the deflowering of his daughter and the rape of his wife, he disappears into the attic with a thought and sighs heavily.
A ball rolls towards him, he rolls it back limply, "Not today, Beau."
The ball rolls back, "I'm really not in the mood."
He tosses it with enough force for his brother to get the message. It careens back at him through the attic and smashes him in the head, "Shit!"
The chain is in his hands before he really considers the pros and cons of entering into a wrestling bout with his brother, he's strong and hits harder than he means because he's still just a child in his head and Tate's ended up dead more than once on accident because of Beau.
"What are you doing?" He hisses jerking his brother out into sight.
He's gotten into the blankets leftover from when he'd put Violet in the attic and squeaks loudly when the floor drags across his skin. But then slowly there's the realization that the bare legs peeking out from under the large comforter are not his brother's.
He's pulling on the blanket and her face is there, swaddled in the white puff of the comforter right before she drops it loosely around her shoulders and is folding her legs under her to push up on them and level her eyes with his. Her kiss is a chaste little peck and the way she lets the comforter fall to her waist is innocent and cute and he stares down at her tiny breasts and sharp pink nipples.
She kisses him again and puts a hand in his hair pulling him closer, scooting back, and making him crawl after to keep their lips connected when she takes them to the nest of forgotten bed linens tucked away in the corner of the attic.
"Wait," he disconnects his mouth from hers. He's just realizing then that she's been planning this for awhile, and exactly why she was in the basement talking to the burned mother hen, the girls probably have his brother dressed up like prince charming and are feeding him enough sugar to kill a horse. He almost laughs.
She starts pulling at his clothes, unsatisfied when he doesn't raise his arms to help her remove his shirt and starting, instead, to undo his belt. He takes her small hands and hold them between them, "Seriously, what are you doing?"
"Acting out your twisted fantasy."
"The one with the naked girl chained up in the attic?"
"No, the one where you like taking balls to the face."
She smiles and kisses him again, harder this time, wetter, her tongue touches his lips but before he can reciprocate with the wet drag of his own she's pulling back, "Am I supposed to say anything?"
"When you think about this, what's it like? Do I talk, am I scared, what?"
He smirks, "You want it."
She grins back and nuzzles his nose with hers her tone breathless and tempting, "So I'm you're willing attic sex slave."
"Something like that," he agrees.
"You're so twisted."
"You chained yourself up this time."
He pulls open the blankets, finds her naked underneath and pushes her back, sucking red marks into her neck while she writhes underneath, her eyes glazing and body arching up, "I'm so twisted."
"Yeah, you are," he answers fondly before she takes his face in her hands, "I can't say I'm sorry. I won't."
"You don't have to," his licks the inside of her wrist, over her silver scars and runs his thumb over the wet skin, his ring a cool tingle that follows the warmth of his tongue.
"But, I love you."
"I know," he smiles; she nods and lies back, going quiet, playing to be part fantasy.
He kisses the red scrapes up the side of her thigh, floor burn, she rattles the chain and he looks down at her tiny foot and he throbs. She swings up and takes off his shirt, finishes with his belt, helps him with his pants until he's naked too, and the attic is their dusty little, lit by afternoon sun, universe.
He drags her on top, lays back, tells her to ride him, she blushes like she always does and puts her hand to the wall behind his head for balance and wraps a hand around him, dragging her wet self over the head and length of him, playing her part with wide eyes and breathy sighs laced with want and need and curiosity, sweet and innocent and his.
She sinks down, slow, never pausing, just letting her body take it's time parting around him and he arches his head against the floor. Her breath comes out like a sigh of relief, he twitches inside her at the sound of it and her inhale hitches.
Her insides clench and pull and push against him as she rises up, a burn creeping into the muscle of her thighs and she fucks him, slow, heady, and heavy, her eyes half-lidded and her lips parted, watching his face.
Her sweaty palms slide against the wall and she falters, dropping down onto him hard and they both gasp, she keens like it hurts but he knows it doesn't, she lowers her chest to his and plants a hand on the floor next to his head, one still raised up on the wall while her hips jerk wildly and her breath blows hot and minty on his mouth, he kisses her sloppily and grabs handfuls of her soft ass, kneads the skin and pulls her closer still.
She doesn't pull back up, just rocks against his pelvis until her cunt flutters around him and she pauses to enjoy the earthquake of orgasm before making sure he follows by raising up and pushing her hands into his abdomen and bouncing up and down and he dies a little when he cums, he's sure, thrusting up hard and digging his heels into the floor.
He slumps and closes his eyes, not able to stop the grin from stretching across his mouth.
She drags her teeth across his throat and sucks kisses into his collarbone. He spanks her half-heartedly and she squeals.
They twist together and watch dust float through beams of sunlight across the airspace. He thinks he hears the house hum along with her while he lounges lazy and warm and she tells him she's happy again.
A/N: Not gonna lie this went from 800-ish words to 8,000 in about six hours. Maybe five because I took a break to watch Law and Order and really it's because I loved it, this one is like the golden child. It might just have been a treat to be able to do another Tate perspective. I guess I just like writing crazy boys.
- The Prettiest Girl in the Whole World by Hope Now: A really interesting fic considering it's the first one that actually really tackles Addy's death in depth, and it just left me with a strange little melancholic feeling, I enjoyed it very much.