Summary: There are noises and glimpses of things that she notices. It's much less intimidating than that first time, the only time before when she walked into the house blitzed, amped up on diet pills and a half gram of cocaine.
Warning(s)/Kink(s): Language, violence, sexual situations, drug use, femslash, dubious consent.
Disclaimer: I don't own American Horror Story
Author's Notes: This shifts between third person views for three different characters, with numerals to let you keep track, the order goes Leah, Violet, Tate. Also, for those of you who don't know there's a school in LA called Marlborough and their mascot is a violet. There's a reference to Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" which is a graphic novel and a character from that, namely Despair who kind of looks like a squat little troll mated with a cafeteria lunch lady, she's got a thing about fish hooks and mirrors there's a title mentioned along with that in one section that's a Tori Amos song based on that same graphic novel, seems like the sort of thing Violet would read. Thanks Jandy for being the beta on this.
Written for the ahs_exchange over on livejournal.
The girls' school is worse than Westfield. Girls that go there are called violets. She suffers through her senior year chain smoking Marlboros between cars in the parking lot during lunch, she recognizes the irony, and pondering where a Violet she used to know really went:
On a greyhound bus to some flyover state in the Midwest with a kid on her hip like the story ended up getting played and pitched as, sensational really.
Sprawled out underneath a boy who cackles like crows, getting fucked, or mutilated.
A shallow grave, a ditch, the trunk of a car sunk to the bottom of a lake, worm food, bird food, fish food. Dead's dead, really, and the world isn't a vegetarian.
It's not picky either.
She can't tap into her trust fund until she's twenty-five.
She kills seven years doing clerical tasks and making coffee at her dad's firm and bullshitting her way through liberal arts and then changing her major from a waste of time to biochem (not like she needs a degree that'll actually do anything other than hang on a wall, screw that, she has money) because if there's one thing she knows pretty well it's pharmaceutical formulas.
She's not dumb, just privileged; she used to be pretty too. Pretty's been replaced by the need to not be a stupid slut.
Though what she's been planning and actually ends up doing is stupid, and the capacity to be a slut is always there since going there once means she remembers the way back to that place where coke and cock were the special of the day, every day, once in awhile all day.
She won't lie, if someone would ask she'd shrug and say that sometimes she misses being that way. The alternative (scars and smarts) is just one thing to cover up another: obsession.
Sometimes she gets high, though now if she fucks a stranger while impaired she makes sure they're at least more docile than the ones she chose when her face was unscathed by bad decision making, usually that means she takes home a girl, or a boy who's barely legal, someone she can take advantage of rather than the other way around.
She gets a cat and calls it what it is instead of by a name that doesn't really matter since it's an animal and can't talk or sympathize or understand what the fuck she's saying to it anyway.
She frames her fancy diploma.
She moves out of her apartment.
She drives by and writes seven numbers down on a post-it.
She calls and a woman named Marcy's office voicemail message picks up, it's late anyway, she'll call her back in the morning.
She's watching her mother's replacement for her dead baby, the first one, piss on the kitchen island and floor and wonders if it even knows it's doing it, the thing is so old now she expects that if she blows a drag out at it that it'll yak and whine desperately as it chokes and it's rheumy and jaundiced eyes roll wetly back into its tiny skull and it'll die right there in the kitchen.
She wonders if the perpetual constipated looking hag who owns it now will lament it. She almost does it but refrains realizing that the last thing she wants is a yappy ghost dog peeing on her bed and boots.
And they're all waiting to see who owns all the new furniture that the men in brown uniforms are banging against wall corners and scarping the wood floors up with belongs to.
But the furniture goes into the rooms and then boxes and then everyone leaves and no one else shows up.
It's funny but she's a bit disappointed, it's been awhile since someone's bought the Murder House.
He looms in the backdoor watching the shrubs.
There's something, someone, watching him. Furtively but not so covertly that it goes unnoticed. He pretends not to notice, the kid's actually pretty good entertainment.
His hair's just starting to curl.
His morals always have been.
The kid likes animals. Likes them so much that he's curious what's inside them. His mother's kenneling business has suffered substantially.
There are noises and glimpses of things that she notices. It's much less intimidating than that first time, the only time before when she walked into the house blitzed, amped up on diet pills and half gram of cocaine.
She won't go down into the basement though. It's not that she's scared, she knows what's down there, knows exactly what it can do, can imagine what it could do, she's not scared but she's not stupid and she's not so self important that she'll go the stairs to prove she isn't scared just to have her tits ripped off and eaten in front of her or whatever else may happen.
She unpacks boxes and moves furniture for hours.
Her cat sits at the bottom of the stairs and doesn't move, it's tail swishes and it's eyes flick back and forth watching the second floor hallway, the same way they flick back and forth when it sits in the window and watches cars drive by.
Someone's come by and moved shit around.
She'd been not existing for awhile when it was happening she supposes.
Where else would she be? Supermarket? Beach? School? Like a 'sorry I missed your call' she thinks about sending some sort of message but finds that she doesn't have the motivation or actual interest to.
There aren't any boy's clothes in the drawers of the dresser.
Too bad, she thinks.
Maybe not. She's been living an asexual existence ever since, as asexual as coming around her own knuckles is. Self serving she calls it. Some days she's more hungry than usual and goes for multiple servings of the same old thing.
She can hardly remember with any real distinction what anything else feels like. All she remembers is heat and weight inside of her.
Of course she remembers. Hard to forget what she resorts to most times to get herself wet and hot.
The fantasy is always better than the reality, sexual or otherwise.
When he sees her he flounders for a moment before coming back to himself.
The last time the marks on her face where bloody and raw, now they're puckered and pink and healed.
Not so gruesome as when they were fresh but savage looking, still.
He studies them, curious, standing right there in front of the girl who isn't so highschool queen bee looking as she used to be, she can't see him, obviously, he isn't fond of high-pitched shrillness bombarding his eardrums.
The cat behind her is looking at him. He's looking at it and almost misses her hand reaching forward, drifting closer, like smoke, he quick steps back and steadies himself on the banister.
Her fingers curl on air and she turns back to look at the animal.
And when she walks away and descends the stairs languidly he lets out a breath that he's held so long his chest it shakes and shivers its way out of his lungs, snagging as it goes.
She feels like her kitchen has turned into some sort of 'women with facial deformities' support group. The maid with her milky eye and the realtor with her toned down expression of something between bell's palsy and unease that she has every time she steps foot through the front door.
She stops short on her way out of her mother's bedroom, off to collect the everlasting bundle of piss and shit from the brain blasted tragedy case in the basement, and promptly turns, ready to go back where she came from.
Running away for self preservation doesn't wound her pride as much as running away because of fear does.
"That girl is here."
He tells her.
She already knows.
There is only one girl they both would know.
"The coke whore."
"You don't touch her," she commands with the bulk of her weight pushing him into the wall, a hand's at his throat pressing tight to his trachea in a way that makes it hard to breath but reminds him of how she'd press her forehead to the same spot when she'd cum, her nails prick at his skin like angry wasps.
She doesn't stick around for him to remark that he wasn't going to, or that he wouldn't, they've talked too much already and the scent of him has curled up her nostrils too far, the way his skin felt under her palms too warm, the press of his thigh against the side of her knee too solid.
He keeps a little potpourri sachet with tufts of hair, a back molar, and finger joints on a string around his neck or in his pocket.
When he's anxious he rattles them in their little sack until he's calm and clear again.
There's a woman with a kid too young to be her own standing at her backdoor.
Her name is Constance.
The boy is her adopted son.
His name is Michael and he spends the majority of the short visit petting the cat that knows it shouldn't be sitting on the kitchen table but doing it anyway.
Constance frowns, making her features sag that much more thoroughly at the site of an animal on a surface where people normally eat breakfast.
For the most part the woman ignores the lines marring her cheek and jaw line, which always have been and always will be killer despite the scar tissue that lifts the corner of her mouth up the tiniest of increments, giving her a tiny perpetual expression of amusement.
She invites her over for tea on Sunday, after church of course. It's funny because Leah doesn't take her to be the pious type.
After she leaves a trail of blue smoke and plate of biscotti in her wake Leah pushes the feline off the table smoothly and a little forcefully, it's alright since cats are quick to adapt anyway and lights a cigarette of her own.
Little Michael had eyed the treats on the plate with too much intensity for her liking, she tosses them in the garbage and leaves it at that.
Leah rolls indigo over them, methodically, gleeful in their absolute destruction, smothering them with a fresh coat of paint.
The macabre decimated by matte blue.
Violet watches and sighs, the house thrums. It's the sort of thing anyone can feel, alive or dead. Neither can decide if it's purring in satisfaction over the act or humming in fury.
They both know who painted the murals in the first place.
For a moment Violet wonders what it was like to have to come home from school every day and see them on the walls, or to watch the artist of them in an alcoholic stupor creating them.
As the years go by she finds herself at least understanding a bit more about the boy she let ruin her, slowly realizing it wasn't just one thing that made him so fucked up, or maybe it was, one thing per every day he spent breathing, crystallizing and warping over time.
Maybe she managed to paint over those things, but painting over the wall doesn't exactly get rid of it, no, different things entirely. Change and obliteration.
She's leaning against the edge of the kitchen table opening mail. She sharpens a fold in a rectangle of paper with her thumbnail; it makes a sound like a slice. Her nails are varnished in a dark color, like ten fresh scabs and her lips are set in a moue that's slick set from gloss.
There's sand on her ankles and stuck to the high cuffs of her faded jeans.
Her midriff is fully bared and tan, there's a silver ring pierced through her navel, something that still makes him reel over since girls when he was alive didn't do that sort of thing to the point they do it now.
From the side of her he's standing on she looks normal, attractive even, soft and pensive but when she sighs and hefts herself away from the table moving to the kitchen island and her whole face is on display the image shatters.
Like seeing actors from some Shakespeare play in the back parking lot after the show smoking post-performance cigarettes.
She has a habit of rubbing her finger pads over her scars when she thinks.
He's seen Violet do something like it with her little finger and her eyelashes.
With the dark wine of her nail polish it looks like old blood on them when he turns and can only watch her out of the corner of his eye.
Her cigarettes start to go missing. She's always counted them. Marlboro lights were her brand when she knew her.
Then she finds a drip trail of red on the underside of the sink basin in the bathroom, an easily missed spot when anyone cleans. She'd seen the girl's scars.
There's no mitered corner on her perfectly made bed. Something most people don't do when they remake the sheets they've slept in.
It's comforting to know she's not alone in the house, but part of her thinks that maybe her friend, using the term loosely, isn't dead and that she's imagining the signs.
Imagination or not it's soothing to think she has more company than just her stupid cat.
Her mother and her's relationship is becoming strained.
"You let him do that to her?"
"It's not my fault his problem solving skills lean more towards psycho than an open dialogue."
Vivien's mouth thins into a blanched line or disapproval.
Violet can't quite bring herself to feel much guilt.
Her mother has someone to love her and the distraction of a baby and a friend in decrepit old Moira. That's more than she gets and being chastised for things that were never quite her fault anyway doesn't sit well, it just makes her feel heavy nausea and an ache of a missed addiction.
She stops herself from adding that he did it for her, did it because he wanted to prove he'd do anything for her.
And she also stops herself from saying he's done worse.
For a moment she feels pride over having him done more for her than anyone else, maiming and killing. All he'd done for Nora was rape a woman. He'd considered Nora a mother. He'd considered her something above that and compared to the look her own mother is giving her right then his own devotion means more than it usually does.
He finds the baseball bat toting mischief making, matched outfit, destruction happy, slashed throat kiddies eyeing the freshly washed dining room crystal set to dry on top of paper towels across the table in next size ordered rows.
When he sends them off with threats and promises of a beating he's thankful she sees it.
It's coincidence, but a nice surprise nonetheless.
Her face is passive and unremarkable in its expression but he hasn't seen her in awhile and it's a welcomed sight.
He makes sure no one breaks anything that belongs to the girl and keeps the cat out of the basement where Thaddeus is hungry and not so picky about what he chews on.
She's had a joint and has been drifting through a haze that's sticky and sweet when she opens up her swollen eyelids and sees Violet sitting on the window sill, smoking a stolen cigarette in an ugly hat and slate grey leggings.
"I'm too high for this."
"That guy killed you."
"Remember all those pills you gave me?"
"How fucking dumb."
"Knew this house was haunted."
"They'll leave you alone."
"That hat is hideous."
"Where's yours? Thought it was necessary."
"It was ugly, too."
"Got any more weed."
She smokes half of another joint with a dead girl and falls asleep with her ugly hat on, somehow. She wakes up with it and inhales the ashtray patchouli scent of it in long hard whiffs like she's huffing paint fumes.
She watches him watch his rape child from a second floor vantage point.
He's on top of the gazebo.
The miniature version of him is in the less than perfectly manicured backyard next door.
Leah is taking a shower and her cat lounges atop discarded clothes on the bed, it cracks open one dirt and olive eye to stare at her warily.
The older girl brought home a friend.
A friend whose last name she probably doesn't even know.
And Violet's watching.
He can't really fault her. It's been a long time.
But it's the way her fingers clutch at the arms of the chair she's sunk down into and the flare of pink on her cheeks and down her neck that gets him hard not the actual fucking going on between the two other parties in the room.
And she squirms in the chair, and he's stuck still to the spot outside the open door wondering if the crotch of her panties is sopping wet or just a bit slick, thinking about what the odds of her letting him kneel down between her splayed legs and lick the outside of them are.
Miniscule considering the withering glare she sends his way when she notices his presence.
Her nails are almost dry, a clear coat of varnish later she's blowing delicately at them. From across the room there's the distinctive flick of a bic lighter and a harsh inhale-exhale combo.
"Come here," she tells the dead girl rolling glass bottles out of the space in front of her with the flat of her palm, mindful of still wet fingernails and offering her a spot on the bed.
There's a laugh in her voice, small and sad and despondent but it's a little chuckle and she figures that it's a start.
"Alright, did you need something?"
They stare at each other with smoke plumes and good intentions and bad memories filling up the space and air in the room.
"Well?" She presses, cocking her head. She brandishes a color at her, redwood, dark like old scabs and crusted blood and coffee grounds, the color people throw up after swallowing too much blood and digesting it half way before it crawl back up and out of their mouth.
Bringing her cigarette she perches carefully on the bed and sifts through colors and patterned nail files detachedly bored.
This close to her and seeing how young she is Leah lays down the deep, dark red and picks up Periwinkle because against all odds her friend, or whatever Violet Harmon is to her, is still just a kid and kids shouldn't drape themselves in depressing shades of suicide and apathy for forever. Not always.
"Oh, no. Anything but blue," she sighs dramatically.
"You're so blue," Leah tells her with a smirk.
"Guess I am."
"I know you've been going through my shit."
"You're fashion sense is questionable."
She rolls her eyes, fast and flippant settling for an, "Uh-huh," and leaving it at that…but not quite because the notion of ghosts going through her things because they have nothing of their own is sad, "If you ever see something you like you can always wear it you know."
"I'm dead, not a charity case."
She still says it that way she did when she was alive, low eyes and with her tongue peeking out to dampen her lower lip, shifty and shy. Leah blows across the wet blue on her thumbnail and her shoulders bunch up.
They've got his face pushed down underneath the water in the bathtub.
Heat creeps up and sinks into her spine and she's pushing off the woman who tried to drown her in a bathtub a lifetime ago. Her partner in crime, Austin or Houston, whatever his city namesake is, tries to push her back but when Tate rages up with a wave of water and indignant fury he scurries off.
And when there are nails tearing at her face he's there breaking the fingers attached to them.
He stabs the woman to death with a pair of manicure scissors and smashes her face open and teeth out on the lip of the bathtub.
His chest is heaving and his hands are red and she doesn't know what to do so she just disappears.
He wonders if there's anything hotter than watching a girl touch herself.
Feet bunching up the covers and fingers working up and down her sweet little slit, through the cotton she's already slicked up.
The way the blankets catch between her thighs along with her hands when she rolls over, hard and fast, to her stomach.
Panties crawling up the curves of her ass while she's rocking back and forth, breathing in her pillowcase when she cums.
Her shoulder blades jumping up while she smothers her pants against the bed and the brief moment of stillness, perfect post-orgasm bliss, before her hips start shimmying forward again because she's a girl and girl's can keep going.
The cat brings a decimated mouse to the middle of the welcome mat, and she can't unsee the image of it swimming through the shoe scraper bristle and curlicue lettering sea, just a head and a bit of paw.
She disposes of it but not before Michael who's run ahead of Constance on a visit over sees her carrying it over to the garbage can.
"Why'd it do that?"
"Sometime cats just want to play but they go too rough on the mice, ya know?"
"It's because they're smaller and can run fast."
"It's okay. It's just a cat."
"It was your cat."
"It's dead. It's nobody's now."
It's the house's now. But she doesn't tell her that.
She's wearing a shirt that's been cut from arm hole to hem and tied in matching knots on either side, and her pedal pushers are ragged and ripped, there's a pair of garish high-top sneakers on her feet and polish on her nails and she lets the living girl braid her hair tightly.
They play Scrabble and it feels like a betrayal.
When she sees him it's not a chill that ladders up her spine it's the ache of tightness that's spurred by rage.
Violet's there too and she's scowling but there's a tightness around that and the edges of her glare that Leah can probably only see because she's an outsider to the whole thing, and it's in that tiny, almost miniscule, twitch of facial expressiveness that she knows the girl who'll never grow up isn't as stony as she wants to be.
She old sidewalk cement, cracked and fissured and wearing down, year by year.
And when the boy who ruined her face kisses the girl who felt bad about it she watches and barely smiles when Violet shoves him back and punches him in the chest before disappearing.
Something shatters upstairs, something bangs against a door, someone wails and rages above her head and if she were a different sort of girl she'd go up to see what's wrong, what she can do to help, but she's just her and she's not that kind of girl.
She slides onto the bed, slowly, softly, knowing Leah's still awake but trying not to startle her all the same. Lying down on top of the blankets over the empty right side she glances at naked shoulders before Leah's half-awake stare.
"You're not naked, are you?"
They talk about nothing. Topics that include everything from what came in the mail to the comforter set to school buses and garbage trucks coming around the block too loud for five, six, and seven in the morning. The digital clock casts eerie underwater florescent green numbers; it's late, or early, into the single digit hours of dark skies.
The puff of a hot breath on her chapped lips is heady and she pulls back after she does it wondering just what the other girl will say just like she wondered moments before how the plumper smoother lips of a girl would compare to the thinner rougher ones of the only boy she's ever kissed.
"Sorry, I thought…," but Leah just starts talking as if feeling the need to finally come out of her silence for the sake of the girl who's apologizing.
"You go lesbo since you died?"
"No," Violet tries hard to not sound indignant or offended, "I just wanted to see if it was different."
"It is," Leah's smile is all shadows in the dark room.
"So are you gay now or what?"
The older girl rolls onto her back and puts an arm behind her head on top of the pillow, her nails tapping against the headboard idly while she stares at the ceiling, "Only guys I know are my dealers, and it's not good to mix that with sex. You find that out after highschool," she smirks sideways at Violet, the younger girl only sees it because the artificial streetlamp light outside is cutting angles of hazy yellow light on Leah's face before she turns her gaze back to the ceiling with a conspiratorial grin that's perhaps the tiniest bits self-depreciating.
"It's better to keep it just as business otherwise it's just messy, in highschool it wasn't as bad. Now it's not worth it to do the guys who have a good supply since after highschool they realize how much what they've got is actually worth," her eyes go back to the younger girl, "Which is usually more than a handjob or whatever." There's dull humor in her voice and Violet smiles a little back at her, "Oh."
"You can do it again. If you want. I don't mind being your little lesbian experience."
Violet thinks it's for effect when Leah sits up and the sheets pool around her hips, Violet thinks it's just so Leah can show her her tits, which aren't huge, but they're big and shaped like oranges not pears, her own are oranges too, just smaller, tangerines really.
They have a lot in common.
They both can't help but wonder if some other ghost is in the room somewhere.
They both curl a hand around the back of the other's neck the same way.
The both don't spend time wondering how far they'll go in the next hour.
Instead Leah rakes down her tights while she's works on discarding her shirt over the edge of the bed musing about how odd it feels to have breasts against hers instead of the firm planes of pectorals moments later.
She's got her arms lain down on either side of the pillow Leah's head rests against, and she's got hers stretched up, nails still clicking against the wood of the headboard, a habit like foot bouncing while eating that shakes the table and annoys everyone. But Leah's not annoying her, in fact, she's not quite sure if it's Leah or just the fact that she's got her tongue stroking hers and is engaging in frottage with one soft hot thigh between her own and that she's also a girl, but right now she's getting her wet.
And every few seconds when nipples catch on her own her panties dampen considerably.
"Will you…?" She starts when it's her back against the mattress and Leah's crawling on top, hair dragging across her collar bone while she's sucking on her shoulder.
"Will I what?" Leah asks, mirth in her tone while she laving over the red circle her lips have left on Violet's skin with her tongue.
For a moment she thinks the other girl is being an asshole, it's the tone and all that humor in it, "Shit, never mind."
"It's just been so fucking long." She looks at the wall so she can pretend the look of pity the other girl gives her doesn't happen.
Leah sighs and raises a brow, "What do you want?"
Her request turns into a question, mumbled and gruff because the alternative is in a squeak and she hates being the nervous girl, "Go down on me?"
Leah smirks and Violet frowns thinking the girl's fucking with her but then nimble fingers are pulling at the elastic waist of her panties.
"I just…," she grabs at the fingers, "Hey wait."
"I just…I don't…"
She tries to articulate in a way that gets her what she wants without seeming like an utter bitch but Leah, to her credit all but reads her mind and her hesitancy like a fucking book, "You don't have to return the favor okay?"
Her panties are on the floor and there's wet heat so suddenly between her legs, a tongue and lips and her own slickness.
And when she can't cum because there's nothing in her, mostly because long fingernails don't facilitate that sort of thing she's up on her knees with the other girl's hand between her thighs grinding desperately down on the firmness of her wrist.
When her own fingers probe the older girl's heat and slip in they both sigh a little, surprise and delight all at once.
She breaks with a choke and long fingernails digging crescents under the curves of her ass. They sting but it causes a thrill of excitement to carve over the back of her neck like teeth and cinch together her shoulders.
Leah cums circling her own clit with fast fingers and Violet's twisting and pumping inside her.
They fall onto their backs and breathe. After awhile Violet lights a cigarette, "Want one?"
She gives the other girl hers and lights a new one taking a long pull off the filter before speaking again, "I'm gonna go."
"I'd say thanks but it may sound like I'm being a jerk."
The other girl rolls her eyes.
"You're welcome," Leah smiles rolling over onto her stomach smushing her cheek and chest into the pillow she's hugging with both arms.
There are lines on his mother's face much deeper than the ones he remembers, she's old and tired. One day she's going to die.
He hopes it happens while she's picking up cold cuts or getting her hair done.
They sit out in the portico.
Moira's hanging laundry and the afternoon hums with heat.
"I don't know what to do about that kid."
Leah catches the gesture pointing to the house next door, she shrugs, "You don't have to do anything."
Violet looks at her, confused and maybe a little insulted that instead of offering suggestions that all Leah gives her is bullshit neither side is right or wrong kind of answer.
Leah shrugs, "It's not your problem unless you want it to be. Who cares? If you don't want to deal with it then don't, it's not like fixing it or anything will make anything change. You're dead, so nothing you do matters anyway."
"So what am I supposed to do?"
"What you want to do. You don't have to do shit you don't want to do anymore."
"It doesn't matter what I do or don't do, there's no fucking point. This place is limbo."
"Existing is fucking limbo."
"I still hate him," and Violet sighs.
She knows what she means is that she hates the boy she's still hopeless over.
"I still don't like you." Leah smirks, and bumps her shoulder nudging, fond and trying to help.
But Violet sighs again, and smoke curls out of her mouth in an inelegant tumble. The dead girl shakes her head before letting it droop, "You don't get it. He didn't just fuck up your face."
Leah knows that. Knows he fucked up the girl sitting next to her and everything about her life and the people in it and even her afterlife limbo but she refrains from saying she knows, it won't do any good, it won't make either of them feel better so she settles for a level and toneless, "Fuck you."
"He looks like him," Leah comments offhand while washing her side of the car.
Constance stands at the bus stop on the other side of the street with that cap of curls kid who smiles like he's in a toothpaste commercial.
It's the end of August and the first day of 'big kid school' for the little sprog of ghost chromosomes and rape victim uterus.
"It's his son," she gives the suds on the windshield a particularly brutal burst of hose spray it leaks icy down her forearm.
Leah's squeezing the sponge out idly no longer so concerned about how much pollen shows up on the black finish of her jeep.
"He raped my mom and got her pregnant. Constance is just Grandma."
"So what happened? You killed your boyfriend?"
She hates that Leah's just standing around while she's doing most of the actual car washing, a minor irritation on top of the major one the conversation topic provokes.
"You know how there was a kid who shot up Westfield way before we went there?"
"Well, that was Tate. He died here after he came home from killing everyone at school, SWAT team. Shot. Him. Up." When she starts again she rattles things off like they're points she wants to make. "And when I found out I took all those pills and he hid my body in the crawlspace and I didn't know I was dead until I tried to leave," she rinses the roof and glances at the other girl finishing with, "You can't, when you're dead."
"He raped your mom?"
"Yeah." Someone else stating the fact puts it in pretty sharp relief but that doesn't make it the whole story.
"There's a lady here, Nora, she's been here awhile, and that thing in the basement that did that to you is her baby, except she always forgets and cries and wonders where her baby is and he promised to get her a baby," she stops and uncoils a kink in the hose, catching the length between her heel and the leather of her flip flop and almost smashing her face on the car grill. There's a brief moment when what she's about to say is almost formed on her tongue and against her palate but she lets it dissolve in her mouth because what she's going to say next is a defense for his actions and what she's going to say next is bullshit, instead of that she says, "And so I guess my parents weren't fucking enough so he had to go do it himself."
It's the unmitigated truth and it sounds like she's placing blame in wrong places but it's better than what she was about to say.
Leah drops her sponge in the bucket by her bare feet, wet with suds and gravel grit from the driveway.
"Yeah, just thinking."
"If Maury does house calls."
"Shut the fuck up," but Violet smiles and shakes her head a little adding a, "bitch," for posterity.
She keeps a little smirk on her face and refills the half-empty bucket with a whirlpool flourish of fresh hose water, until at least Leah questions, "Why didn't he just rape you?"
"Why did it have to be your mom?"
She shrugs, "I don't know," she drops the hose and reaches in the bucket for the sponge, slapping it down on the hood, "It doesn't matter anymore."
But she knows. He didn't because liked her or didn't want to fuck her up anymore than she already was. Maybe he thought she might put up enough of a fight to spoil the whole thing or that if he did really chose daughter over mother there'd be the all too viable possibility of her killing herself and his giveaway baby. She knows all the likely and unlikely reasons of why, it doesn't matter which one it really is or was because she's thought of them all.
None of them assuage the chafe his surrogate momma dependence and obsession has caused.
"No offense, but your mom doesn't seem too screwed up by it."
"She's dead, idiot."
"She seems to be handling it pretty well, though."
"Compared to who?"
"Not compared to anyone. You handle it pretty well too. Being dead, not the dead psycho boyfriend who raped your mom thing, because that's fucked up, and it's okay to be fucked up over that part and the being dead part too but, as for the being dead part you seem to be pretty good with it."
Her jaw hurts because she's clenching her teeth and it takes her more than minute to gain composure enough to speak, to be able to do that instead of smack the other girl in the mouth.
"Yeah, it's great."
Her voice at least sounds dead when she says it.
The weed that's growing smoky roots inside his veins is the weed that was in the nightstand drawer.
It's pretty good.
The high isn't bad either.
It makes everything seem a lot better than it is. Like the humidity in the damp basement paired with the wafting heat of the clothes dryer set on Desert Sahara, or the sour and prickly sweat sheen he's got breaking out across his skin. The bits of harsh grit that the bare futon mattress is pressing into all his bony prominences. The fact that she's standing in what would be a doorway, if there was a door attached to the regularly shaped opening in the wall, holding something sharp and steely.
Being high makes her skittish attempt at some kind of predatory prowl and stalking exercise more than a little comical, she's kneeling on the black futon mattress, rocking and swaying a little like it's a raft floating in the sea, maybe it just seems like she is, maybe it's his mind rocking back and forth.
Her small hand is on his chest and the knife is poised so loosely in her other that he thinks she might just drop it on accident. There's the resolve to do something bad in her eyes so he flicks the roach away and exhales hard and fast before falling back, arms outstretched, all wounded Gaul falling down dead. It's a grand gesture, it seems like an important one. Being high makes every stupid, theatrical, unnecessary wave of arms or eyebrow arch come across as very significant to the person doing them.
Letting her kill him is a lot like giving her a present, so much more meaningful than a flower for her hair or a sonnet as an ode to her liking of a certain music genre or her little tits. Her perforating his left ventricle with a paring knife is all action and decision and those things weigh heavier that words and trinkets.
He guides her hand to the spot between his ribs where all it takes is miniscule effort and good placement to get a quick kill, slicing vital arteries and heart muscle if she does it right.
"Right here. Just push." He goads letting the fingers he has around her wrist drop.
But she stares blankly back at him, like she's the one who's high.
"Do it if you're gonna," he says while arching his ribs up against the point of her tiny knife.
But still there's no reaction.
His mellow high ignites into something not quite so nice. He plucks the knife of her hand like something less lethal and flings it away in much the same manner as he did with his finished joint with a huff, "Christ, then why bother?"
"I really did love you." She admits, bitterly like the flavor of it has gone bad in her mouth.
"Did?" He scoffs, "Bullshit, do."
Her eyes flash malice he's seen in the mirror before, "Until it came down to you or me and then I chose me."
"I'd choose you too."
His admission does nothing but make her want to spit more barbs at him, "I thought I'd leave and eventually you'd mean nothing because there'd be other things instead of you, lots of other things I'd get instead."
"But you can't leave," he smiles, it is not a nice smile.
"And you're the only thing left I can have and now I don't even want you anymore."
Her eyes shut and her breath leaves her mouth in a heavy, heavy, sigh, defeated and final and so fucking sad.
"You just make me remember everything else I could have had instead."
"Do I make you sad?"
"I could make you happy." He sits up and tucks the fall of hair hanging over her cheek back behind her ear. She slaps away his fingers when they quest to stroke her cheekbone, she holds them tight and hard in the grasp of her own, "I don't want you to make me happy."
He digs fingers around the top of her thigh next to his hip and squeezes with intent, "I could fuck all the sad out of you."
"That just makes me feel like throwing up."
But she doesn't slap those fingers away when his thumb starts rubbing circles so close to the inside of her thigh, skirting the line of propriety that lovers who aren't lovers anymore draw up so they don't fuck anymore, so they can pretend they don't give a shit about each other anymore.
"You're still here," his chest is almost against hers and her features are too close to see properly. He's only looking at her mouth anyway.
"I thought I wanted to kill you."
He says nothing because the blanching of her bottom lip under the sharp edges of her front teeth has him enraptured.
"I don't though; I just want to hurt you."
He laughs and grabs her eyes with the look on his face; she looks worried and less fierce at his sudden change in mood.
"Yeah, I know what you want," he can almost say he purrs the words but not really, less seductive than that and a good deal more self-assured.
He pushes her and she lets him.
She lets him because she's probably glad someone at least knows what she wants and will admit to the same even though she would rather eat her own tongue than say it herself.
He feels her inhale against his chest when he's close enough, feels her breathing in all the sticky, vinegar, boy sweat scent of him. Her hair reeks like an old ashtray but her breath is hot and sweet in temperature and taste, Chapstick and chocolate milk, he licks the flavor off her upper lip while he's feeling her up between her legs.
It takes her awhile to talk again but when she does he's sucking red spots onto her sternum and progressively lower.
"What are you doing?"
"Been awhile, right?"
Not really though, not in essence of the act, just in the essence that it hasn't been him licking their way down her body with the intention of sucking on her clit and making her drip heat and orgasm all over his lips.
Even though she wants him to she's too pissed now to let him, he should have kept his mouth shut he decides.
"Just shut up."
He'll say no more, so long as she stays. And she does tugging on his hair and making him move up her body so they're face to face again.
"Come on," she commands while he takes his time getting her panties off and her hands fumble with his cock and the small opening his boxers provide, he pushes them down under his ass and let's her toe her panties off of her calves herself.
She stares at him with her mouth parted softly, her lips wrapping around a moan when he lines up and nudges his way inside of her body.
He pumps in and out lazily, just savoring her and the hot grip of her plush thighs against his bare hips, how she just lets him fuck her because she's just starting to realize fucking him doesn't mean she has to forgive him yet, forgiveness is what he wants in tandem with what they're doing now but one out of two isn't bad.
He wants to kiss her but he's already done that before with dismal results, so when their mouths are eating each other's air and she's so close she won't care if he did kiss her hard or soft or deep enough to suffocate her with his tongue he just doesn't. Instead of kissing her he tells her he doesn't know where her mouth has been lately.
She wraps her hands around his biceps and her elbows knock against his like her knees rub against his thighs as he slides in and out, steady and deep.
It's him who cums first but she jerks and rubs up against him, writhing around until she's there too and her eyes close but her mouth opens and her teeth grind down into his skin, delicate and dainty, worrying his skin enough to leave a subtle bruise that won't hurt as much as he likes.
"You're welcome," he mumbles against her bare spine while she's turned to put her stockings back on after they've finished.
A well placed elbow gives him the bruise he's been longing for, just not in the place he's been wishing for it. He dry heaves and falls back cupping his balls; she's gone when his eyes unclench.
"You fucked him." She blurts it out while she's cooking herself dinner and Violet sits perched on the counter behind her.
The silence where a response should be feels palpable, thick and soupy and with the potential for violence.
"Not an accusation, just stating a fact," she adds, hoping to belay some horrible reaction that could lead to Violet pushing her face into the water that's just come to a boil on the stove.
And that's all the other girl says.
It's only the first hour of freedom she gets this year and she's pull and B&E in enemy territory. They leave every year around Halloween and don't come back until November anyway.
Last year she was too chicken shit to go upstairs and find his other bedroom or evidence of murdered childcare providers or a satanic altar with a collaged ode to the antichrist and Scarlett from 'Gone with the Wind'.
There's a room full of mirrors and it's quietly disturbing.
But she'd expect nothing less from the one who hung them. Constance is the same; that, silent, crawling sense of mental decay, all rot and dead things when she's been exposed to the metaphorical bone, cracks in the patina and the old bag has become vulgar whore of Babylon instead of virtuous holy mother.
She sits inside against the closed door and pretends she can see other people's suffering, their listless absolute anguish, through them. Her own looks different than she's imagined it. Dulled. She wishes she had her razor on her to act out some literary tribute to a comic she's long since worn the edges of the pages thin and near translucent.
Briefly she wonders what it'd be like to fuck him in the reflecting room all glass shine and angles, suddenly she's more 'Sister Named Desire' than Despair. They're the same thing when she looks at them too long, they twist into twin things that just hurt and wound and burn.
Witching hour comes around and she's left with one less slice of time to go anywhere and do anything for a while and the house seems to stand around her, more sinister than before, with more intention than the one that serves as her cage for every other day except this one.
He doesn't get why they're painted the colors they are until he realizes that they're candy corn colors and she's trying to be festive. He wonders if her little toes taste like sugar because they look like they might.
But they don't.
They taste like steam and orange wood polish and a hint of dust.
She squirms and knocks him in the mouth with her ankle all while asking 'just what the fuck' he thinks he's doing.
The ghost cat peers at him with eyes that should have a creaking sound accompanying their movement because it's just that creepy of an animal.
It keeps looking at him and so does she like they both have a stake in his answer.
"I just wanted to, I guess."
She makes no effort to respond with words, just pushes her fragile boned foot into his chest, her toes grasping at his flannel and t-shirt like baby fingers.
Ghost cat curls up on her back, between shoulder and ass, probably to better creep him the fuck out he decides while pressing his thumbs into her sole and circling firmly.
The angle between her ass and lower back gets sharper, and he's not an idiot to what that means. That harsh arch in the lines of her spine and hips and the way they fuse and crease together. She wants him.
It doesn't take long for the cat to get pushed off and for her to roll over onto her own back, supine and soft-boned to watch him watch her.
He teases a kiss on the bottom line of her toes and her shoulders shift against the mattress. He presses on each one like he sees her do to the cat sometimes in order to make its claws extend and then retract.
At first it's just a tease of tongue tip against her skin but soon enough he's sucking on each perfectly manicured, holiday themed toe.
The hard suction of lips and the wet inside of his mouth before he's laving at them with finality has her breathing heavy and shaky.
She makes a dissatisfied whine in the back of her throat when he drops her foot.
It goes away when he reaches for its neglected twin.
Someone asks if the house is really haunted.
She tells them it's all bullshit and smirks into her red plastic cup.
Someone else has changed the song to one where Rob Zombie growls out lyrics with a background so heavy and throbbing she feels it all the way up her legs from the floorboards.
The house is full of her party guests and the ghosts are gone for the night but somehow it feels like a violation to invite the living in.
She's half-drunk and wishes Violet was around because the song is something she could grind up on someone to and the body against her is one that knows what it's doing, her's wouldn't. Violet would probably blush and spit venom and they could make-out in the horrible house party strobe lighting. It would give the guys at the party something to holler at and it'd be like they'd both be able to pretend they're alive, for a little while.
But Violet's not there and the boy against her back is cute enough to dance with and the party isn't that bad for something she decided to do on a whim so she drains and cup and hands it off while swinging her hips back and forth.
When Leah leaves to go visit her family for Thanksgiving the house fades back into the land of the undead and things are equal measures hectic and stagnant.
Ghosts go back to their favorite haunts now that there's nothing alive and walking around tainting their space.
So the twins break things, the nurses call out in weepy persistence for attention, her baby brother can be heard crying in the morning, in the afternoon, at night, Nora scuffs at how Charles drinks too much or is too useless or laments her missing baby before blanking out and looking for a drink, Hugo leers, Moira cleans, Hayden fucks, Travis mows the lawn on the same day of the week as he always does because he's into routine if his abs and biceps are any indication, Chad and Patrick snip and snark and make-up and have a falling out, Her parents' policy of letting the brooding daughter brood is as firmly in place as ever, Beau rolls his ball, Thaddeus eats a rat, or parts of it, the ghost cat sleeps all day and licks it's haunches for hours, the Dahlia mourns for herself in some drastically lit corner, the home invader duo plot plots, Tate sulks, and she tries to remember what she did before Leah bought the house.
Eventually she comes home and they meet within minutes.
"Miss me, bitch?"
"Not really, skank."
"I'm jealous," he tells her never moving from his lounge on the stairs, watching her through the banister columns. She stops walking and looks up blankly.
He shrugs, "But at least it's not another boy."
She wraps hands around the columns and gazes through the spaces between them at him.
"I know you aren't happy but you're not as sad as you used to be."
"I'm not as lonely anymore."
"I can make you not lonely." He props himself up on an elbow.
"You gonna make things better for me?"
"If you want me to, I will. I'll try."
She scoffs and shakes her head with a small smile. "It'd be better if I did it myself."
Her mouth tips up into the empty space and presses against his afterwards parting to murmur quietly "You fuck everything up, anyway."
"I'm lonely." He hates the whine in his voice.
"Tough shit, you deserve it."
"I love you."
"And I'm sorry."
For everything he did and everything he didn't do that he should have.
"My mom traded me in for that dumb baby anyway." She comes down off her tiptoes and rocks back with her elbows and arms straightening while she looks to the side and down the hallway.
"I got replaced too," he says . She looks back at him. He continues on, "With Michael, with Leah."
"You're still fucking her."
"You still watch," she counters back.
"And make sure no one else does."
"What? Do you want a prize?" She snaps.
He smiles bitter and mean, "Maybe."
"And what should it be? Wanna fuck me again? Do you think you deserve it because you've been on your best behavior?"
"Yeah," her echo is toneless.
"She's my replacement, she's not what you really want, not when it comes to that."
"You must be a mind reader then, huh? Since you know what I want."
"She's alive, you're dead. Eventually you won't be able to fuck her or sleep in the same bed with her when you just want to be next to someone at night. But I'm dead too and I just have to wait."
"I'm not going to crawl back, Tate."
"You wouldn't have to."
"I don't forgive you."
"I forgive you."
"Because sending you away was so mean, so wrong of me to do."
"No, but it still hurts. I'm still lonely. I still miss you."
She lets go of the railings and steps back.
"I thought it would take longer."
He stands and walks down the stairs, swinging around with his hand on the banister.
"To stop being pissed off."
"You're still angry."
She nods, "But it's easier to be dead when there's shit to do than when no one's here."
"I'm sorry about what I said afterwards, before."
He means the dig that got him smashed in the balls.
"You're such a shithead sometimes."
She doesn't step back when he steps up behind her and she just presses her forehead against the stairs, tired and sad.
"What are you doing, Tate?"
He's close enough to being pressed against her back that she probably thinks he may be.
"No?" He asks pushing hair of her neck and speaking into her skin.
"Wasn't the question," she tilts her head anyway and he sucks on her pulse.
"I just want to make you feel good."
He smirks that she's as insightful as ever.
"I want to feel good with you."
She clicks her tongue, "You want to fuck me."
"I always want to fuck you," he nudges her ass with his hips pointedly.
She turns quick and presses a firm hand to his chest, pushing hers out and tilting back her head.
"Must suck to be so horny all the time." Her grin is malicious and it's clear she isn't going to play, not now.
"Yeah, it really must," he sneers before twisting away.
He wants to stay sulking in the basement or outside but the house is quiet enough that he can hear the two girl upstairs in the kitchen from wherever he is, laughing and then talking in low tones and he can't help it that he stalks around on the edges of her vision while the living girl goes on unaware of him.
There's something in him that wants to stay angry but it's hard to keep it in his grip once Violet and Leah start kissing each other.
When the living girl's mouth is laving his girl's collarbone he's left with nothing to do but smirk back at the eyes staring at him. She won't say anything, won't give him away, she likes having him around.
"You don't have to, I told you that already." He hears Leah say when Violet turns to push her onto the bed, Leah bounces a little and lets out a laugh after she speaks.
"Smart girls despise the free lunch," Violet tells her while she's working on getting Leah out of her pants.
"So many ways for that to be a dirty joke."
"Kinda meant it to be."
He can hear every wet sound of her tongue across the other's cunt.
Her eyes follow him as he gets up from the chair he's sitting in, follow him until they can't anymore because he's behind her, watching the way Leah's hands yank on her hair.
She said she wouldn't crawl back to him but she's on her knees anyway, regardless.
He kneels behind her and runs fingers up the back of her shirt tapping up her spine. She shivers.
"What's wrong?" Leah groans.
"Huh?" Violet lifts her head and shakes it a little ready to come up with some excuse but she can't because he's got his hand on the back of her neck forcing her mouth back to the task it's turned away from.
"Oh, fuuuck," Leah keens and arches hard.
Violet scratches at his thigh, harsh furrows forming on the skin under his jeans.
His silent laugh is a rumble against the base of her neck, teeth opening on it like a wolf before he works his hand between her thighs and strokes at her.
She presses back against it and the fingers digging into his thigh rub back and cradle his groin.
He gets her panties stretched around the middle of her thighs and when he yanks her hips up and back before pushing in the elastic waist of them rubs across the base of his balls.
He wants to make her cum but he only has as long as the other girl's orgasm takes.
Pulling Violet's hair and changing the rhythm in which her mouth can press between Leah's thighs gives him a chance at least and thumbing her clit while she bounces discreetly up and down on his cock makes it actually happen.
She smothers his name on Leah's thigh, leaving the imprint of her teeth behind.
He leaves his own on the back of Violet's shoulder.
The lawn guy is pretty hot. "Do you think he's single?"
Violet tilts her head up and moves her sunglasses down her nose in a gesture that's a bit condescending, "He's dead." The girl who is also dead turns a page in her book, "And you're in my light, fat ass."
Leah sidesteps so Violet's sprawl on the towel in the grass is once again illuminated by the noonday sun.
"Really?" She rocks back on her heels and watches Travis the gardener start up to wee whacker, biceps bulging, pecs rippling. The boy was born to be in porn.
There's a heavy sigh from the grass, "Yeah. He was Constance's boy toy, when he was alive. Don't know if they still got something going on."
Leah's nose crinkles imagining that duffel bagged ass old women fucking such a fine male specimen. "Gross."
"Him and Hayden do it a lot. Which is weird since she's the one that killed him."
Violet nodded sagely in response and turns another page.
"Wanna sit on the roof and watch dogs fuck?" She asks, sweetness in every word.
He gives her a look, not suspicious just mildly amused, "You gonna push me off when that gets boring?"
"Won't need to resort to that if you keep me entertained."
The German Sheppard from two doors down tries desperately to mount the Boxer bitch from the house across the street. The courtship doesn't last long.
They're forced to resort to other things to kill time.
He's got the heels of his sneakers digging into the last row of shingles and her knees in his palms, his fingers will leave dusky bruises there for her to count later. She's staring at the world upside down until she tells him to let go and he does.
When her skull fracture heals and her brains reform she wonders if she expected him to really let her fall or put up some bit of protest over it.
She finds she can't decide if she even really minds at all.
When he breaks his arm in three places, the kid doesn't even cry.
The ghost cat hisses and runs off.
The kid tells him that he'll regret it and he just smiles and tells him if he comes back over the fence he'll kill him and then he'll be staying forever.
He doesn't come back again but Tate knows one day he'll grow up and buy the house just to tear it down to see what happens. Violet tells him he's only a kid, and kids have accidents all the time, especially on Halloween which is in itself the most dangerous of holidays for children.
A/N: Okay so now that all three of my exchange fics are up I can focus on other fic stuff now, woohooooo!