A/N: One has to figure that Violet would (canon wise) eventually crack. I mean being stuck for years in that house with parents who are in a lovey dovey state? That would drive anyone to desperation after a while, especially considering the object of her affections is around. That's regardless of him being a psycho killer or not. The way I see it, it would happen starting with just one night. One night that would give both of them a false promise of hope in a world full of chaos (much like the song I've named this fic after). Enjoy.
Chapter One: Slow Life
"Even though you're the only one I see
It's the last catastrophe
Place your bets on chance and apathy."-Slow Life by Grizzly Bear
"And these many years later, nothing had changed. He was still her secret. The thrilling surge of his memory, her only vice."
Violet had read that in a book she had found in the attic. It wasn't a particularly good book but that quote had stuck out for her. For a moment, she thought the house was telling her exactly what she kept hidden in the deep recesses of her mind and heart. Then she scoffed at her own stupidity. It was just a dust filled book she'd dug up and read out of boredom. No more, no less. Still, it was true; his memory was the only vice she had now that she had been dead for years. She had stopped feeling a rush from cutting and long ago run out of cigarettes so it was the only vice left.
Violet knew that Tate occasionally watched her, so she returned the gesture on a few occasions. After a while, Tate had stopped hiding from her and it wasn't to piss her off. He did it simply because he was tired of hiding and wanted to walk around freely. Because of this and, because of her sick gluttony for punishment, Violet hid and looked at him from time to time.
It was half love, half hate. Her feelings were incredibly complicated. She had gone half mad because of those complications. She had to punish him and she knew it was the right thing to do. Just the same, she longed for him in a manner so violent that it sometimes took her for a spin. Some days the longing was so strong that her chest tightened, her muscles trembled and she had to gulp down heart-broken sobs and wails. Even her torture was complex, she often thought. It was both from wanting him and from the revulsion she felt over everything that he had done. The point was, Violet hadn't expected his punishment to be her punishment as well.
Halloween was getting nearer and Violet couldn't wait. Halloween was the one-day and night a year in which all the souls in the murder house were free of the confines of the hellhole in which they existed. The twenty-four hours during which they could do what they pleased in a better setting and without consequence.
The Harmons had a family day planned out, but the night was completely free for all. Violet had something in mind for that night. She had a hunch as to where Tate would be and she would go there and maybe give in to her urges and reward him a bit. He had, after all, kept true to his word and not come near her again. Hell, once or twice when Hayden had tried to chop her up Tate had somehow, invisibly intervened and gotten the crazy bitch off her back. Despite herself, she had silently thanked him and appreciated his actions.
Violet had promised herself to not acknowledge him in any other way and she was not willing to break her promise to herself. She was, however, willing to make a small exception. If Halloween was their night off, then it would be her night off from her promise to herself as well. Needless to say, if she did find him, she would give in to her temptations to talk to him and…touch him. She craved to touch every inch of his skin, drown in his scent and get lost in the devilish black eyes that made her shiver. That's exactly what she would do, Violet thought, and suddenly she couldn't wait for Halloween.
Tate was aware that Violet liked to watch him. He always felt her eyes boring into the back of his head, but he knew better than to acknowledge her. She had sent him away and it was simply impossible to say anything to her or even smile and he knew it. For the past couple of years, Tate had been silently watching Violet from time to time. The rest of the time, he spent alone repenting for everything he had done or begging for forgiveness from the three people in the house that hadn't forgiven him.
The exterminator guy had forgiven him quickly enough because for some reason (one he didn't want to dwell upon) he had said that he understood why he had done it. Well fuck, he thought, some people are more twisted than they appear. Ben let it go after a while seeing as he was one of the few ghosts that actually talked to Tate for a long period of time. Ben figured that a repenting, slightly depressed psychopath who stopped committing crimes was better than a psychopath who kept killing. That being said the other three other people he had harmed that were currently living in the Murder House weren't as forgiving. Chad and Patrick were even more bitter now that they both knew that the relationship they had once shared was completely one sided; as such they weren't particularly interested in hearing Tate's attempted apologies. Vivien, on the contrary, wasn't bitter at all; she was quite happy with the life she was living, but she wasn't quite yet ready to forgive someone who had raped her and consequently caused her death. She did say, however, that if he kept apologizing and truly meant it ("As it seems you are", Vivien noted), then she would eventually forgive him.
Tate knew, however, that all this apologizing wasn't going to make Violet take him back. He just felt that he had to do it for her. Apologizing was something to do…something that reminded him of her, and he would cling to those memories of her like a starving man would to a small piece of bread. All the atonement in the world would never free him from his prison. He would never again have Violet in his arms, looking at him with stars in her eyes. He lived in what he considered a sentence of six lifetimes in the Bastille for all he had done. Certainly, the sentence he would be serving had the cops not killed him back in '94 would have been just as long.
Halloween was in a few weeks and, strangely, he was happy about it. Halloween was his equivalent of yard time. He could experience a bit of freedom and be free of Hayden. That vengeful bitch just wanted to get in his pants and murder him all the time. He got sick of having her back off without killing her again. Actually, he was just plain sick of her. A bit of time away from Hayden and away from the house would do him some good.
Tate would happily spend the night at the beach, lie back, relax and take in the ocean. The day never interested him much but he would spend it outside the house anyway. He had some people to talk to and apologize to (quite frankly he was willing to let them ax him to pieces) and then he planned to do something small for Violet that he hoped would make her smile. Even if those he had murdered didn't forgive him, he would have at least confronted them earnestly. He knew Violet would have wanted that. Besides, even if he couldn't be with Violet, it didn't mean he couldn't do something for her. He hoped the two gestures he was going to do worked their magic.
Frankly, saving her from Hayden had been the most he could've done for her under the circumstances of his exile. Despite that that was the only thing he could do for her, he was also aware that it annoyed her. Because of this he kept it at a minimum. The small detail he was planning on going through with this year would, hopefully, be seen as a good gesture. Hopefully, it would put a smile on her face again.
Tate sat in the basement, his eyes closed and a smile upon his face as he thought about all the good that Violet would encounter on Halloween. After all, no matter what happened: "I care about your feelings more than mine." He whispered those words to the basement. The sentence rang true after all these years. Honestly, was it too much to ask that she let herself see him just once? To let him near her?
Ironically, Tate was blithely unaware of the fact that he and Violet would have a night together once more on that very Halloween.
Chapter Two: Halloween Part One
Tonight's the night, thought Violet nervously and excitedly as she finished getting dressed and walked downstairs to go out with her family for the day. The day was cool and a sunny blue sky shined bright. Violet was glad to be spending it with her mom, dad and brother. She met them on the porch.
"There she is!"-Said Vivien with a smile.
"Ready to go?"-Ben asked.
Violet nodded and walked in front of her parents while Vivien gently pushed the baby carriage as Ben beamed and stayed close to her side.
"I can't believe it's finally Halloween."-Violet said.
"Me either."-Ben said with a smile on his face.
It was rue that the best thing's in life were free. The Harmon family found themselves at a Halloween Festival and nothing could be more fun than (or all things considering cheaper) going to the festival.
There was a Ferris Wheel, carnival games, popcorn, cotton candy and live music. The family spent the entire day there enjoying freedom and some time together. Though Violet had grown too old (in her opinion) to be at a festival during the day with her parents, she had fun. She got on the rickety rollercoaster with her father and smiled when her mother and brother were waiting for them when they got down. She cheered her dad on as he tried a carnival game in order to win her mother a giant Teddy bear. She unnecessarily ate corndogs and cotton candy. In other words, she had a completely surreal day where the darkness was nowhere to be found and everything seemed normal. It was a day where she, Ben and Vivien could pretend that they were not dead and stuck in the house in which they died.
Soon enough the sun was about to go down and the four of them returned to the Murder House to get ready for their night plans. Vivien had gotten Moira to babysit for a while so she and Ben could have an actual date. Violet, on the other hand, had asked Chad to help her pick out some clothes. He had asked why and though Violet tried to lie Chad wasn't buying it.
"I'm going on a little date with Travis."
"Oh stop it Elvira. If you were really going to go out with that dumb piece of man candy you would have already. I know you're going to go after Norman Bates Jr. I'm not going to judge you for it. Believe me when I say the heart wants what it wants."
"I'm not going to go after him. I just want to talk."
"Yeah, sure. That's what Pat does with the guys he sees today too...talk."
"It's not like that."
"I'm sure it isn't. Then again don't think I haven't seen you looking at him. Everyone sees you. Frankly, it's pathetic. If I were you I would have done something about it a decade ago."
"A decade ago most of me would have just stabbed him with a blunt object."
"You should have. I like to do it myself from time to time."
"Yeah well I'm not into spreading bloodshed."
"What about your pussy?"
"You've heard your father's psychotic mistress. She goes on and on about how being dead makes her horny. Don't you ever just look at your psychopath and picture bouncing on his cock one more time?"
Violet rolled her eyes at him. Yes she had thought about it (on a slightly regular schedule if she was being completely honest) but she clearly wasn't on the same level of need as everyone else was. Either way, that was not the point.
"It doesn't matter if I do or don't. I just want to talk. I figure if everyone is off from being in this hellhole, I might as well be off duty from not talking to him."
"Hmm methinks the lady will crack."
"Pfft, bullshit. The lady will not. It's just one night."
"I think you will. Did you even go to your room yet?"
"Your suitor has left you tokens."
"Just go look for yourself."
Up she went to her old bedroom and found the 'tokens' Chad had been talking about. In the center of the room, on the floor, lay a few packs of her preferred kind of cigarettes and a stack of books. She smiled when she noticed the depressing books she loved and hadn't read in years. Her dad always loved to see her with a depressing Russian novel and here were a few of them. It seemed sick that even now she loved to read things that were depressing but that was just who she was and Tate knew her all too well.
In her stack were The Bell Jar, Lolita, Les Miserables, The Brothers Karamazov, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Never Let Me Go, Less Than Zero, The Sun Also Rises, A Tale of Two Cities and The Phantom of the Opera. She had no idea how he had gotten all of them, but instead of thinking any negatives, she thought the gesture sweet. Though two of the books were beyond his time it just proved that he had been listening to her when she mentioned them. That thought made her smile. Were it not for the fact that she really wanted to go and search for him, she would have sat down with one of her new books never to be heard of for days.
She gathered her presents and put them in the closet as she quickly changed into the outfit Chad had picked out for her. Off she went to the beach. She went straight back to the same spot in which they had been together the last time. Once at the beach, she saw him sitting on the sand looking at the waves. As she got closer, she noticed him nursing a wound near his ribcage. His hands were full of blood. She gasped and his head turned to her.
"Violet"-he groaned, nearly out of breath.