A/N: So we've come to the end of the story. I'd really like to thank all of you who've read and reviewed. Especially those of you who've reviewed since the very beginning. I've re-read all the reviews and they all put smiles on my face. Hugs to Sarah, Jandy, Stella, B, Cappy and everyone else that I'm likely forgetting.
Oh and snaps from the Snap Cup to Paisley for getting the Moonrise Kingdom reference in the last chapter.
So now, without further ado, Tate and Violet's much deserved uninterrupted fluff.
Chapter Nine: Spectrum (Kurt Cobain and Sylvia Plath)
When we first came here
We were cold and we were clear
With no colors on our skin
'Til you let the spectrum in
Say my name
And every color illuminates
We are shining
And we'll never be afraid again"-Spectrum by Florence + the Machine
Ooh ooh but you know I'm yours
Ooh ooh and you know you're mine
Ooh ooh and that's for all of time
Ooh wee-ooh I look just like Kurt Cobain
Oh oh and you're just like Sylvia Plath
I don't care what they say about us anyway
I don't care about that - Buddy Holly by Weezer (slightly altered by yours truly)
Nothing mattered. Tate was, at this moment, devoid of feeling. It is like living inside a black hole. No light, nothing escapes. There was nothing. His existence was a waste of air and space, in his opinion. Before death he was a ghost of a boy and post death, he was just the physical manifestation of what he had been before. Nothing else remained.
No light. No life. No love. No color.
And he didn't think it would ever change.
Life was dull. It's not that she wasn't happy. She was as happy as she could be. Her parents seemed happy too; they were rejoicing over her mother's pregnancy. Things were as close to perfect in their house as they were in Leave it to Beaver house. Hell, she even did great in school.
But she was bored.
Then there was the feeling that something was missing. Maybe it was all the music she listened to that made her feel that way…like there was a void. Maybe it was just her. No amount of studying or going out with "friends" made her feel any differently. It was like she was half of a whole. Her other half was lost. Absent.
And she didn't think it was going to change.
It was Violet's birthday. Tate and Vivien had both gone out of their way to make the day special for Vi. Though Vivien and Tate hardly spoke after they had cleared the air between them, they knew that they should work together for this special occasion. Violet deserved to have a good day considering that every birthday since her death had been plagued with degrees of unhappiness. This time it would be different.
It was, after all, the only time after the Harmons had moved to L.A. that Violet felt and looked completely happy. Vi had resolved not to care about what her father said or did and Ben did his best by not interfering in her affairs. Vivien was always resolutely by her side and overlooked the bad that Tate had done just because he made Violet happy. So her parental situation was right where she wanted it to be and she was free to be with Tate. She harbored no guilt about it any longer. Considering that Violet was actually happy, it was only natural that the two people that she cared for the most did something special for her.
The first thing that Tate and Vivien had to take care of was to count the money they had collected over the years. The ghosts always stole a bit of money from owners, so that they had a decent amount of cash to spend on Halloween. After they counted, they figured that there was enough money to get what they wanted. They weren't planning to get her something extravagant but it would definitely put a smile on their girl's face.
Once that had been done, they contacted the only living human they knew. It seemed that no matter how much time passed, Constance avoided death with an iron fist. Tate told Vivien that he wouldn't be surprised if Constance was death's mistress.
And because Tate had such a furious animosity towards his mother, he let Vivien deal with her. Vivien put on her best face and gave Constance the exact amount of money she would need to get the presents for Violet.
The other thing they needed to do was dress the house up a bit. There hadn't been new owners in a year and a half, so the house was empty except for a few pieces of scattered furniture and the personal possessions that had been hoarded by ghostly residents. In a joint effort between the madly in love ghost boy, the doting matriarch and the diligent maid, the living room had been decorated so that it would fit the celebratory mood. They had taken care of the decoration diligently during the early hours of the morning.
Some hours later, it was Tate's job to wake Violet up.
He saw fit to wake her up in the best way possible. He was already lying next to her, so he positioned himself on top of her and started giving her sweet, tingling kisses all over her neck.
"Violet"-he said in a sing-song voice between one kiss and the next.
She groaned but kept her eyes shut. He went from kissing her neck, to peppering kisses all over her face.
"Wake up, birthday girl."
"…Don't want to."-She said, her voice heavily thickened with sleep.
Tate smiled. Violet wanted this done the hard way and he was definitely willing to play it that way. There was something that she would want and it would definitely wake her up. She could ignore the kisses he gave her on her face and neck, but he wouldn't be ignored now. He got under the covers and moved down her body to pull her leggings down.
"What're you doin'?"-Violet said still half asleep.
Tate didn't answer. He just opened her legs slightly and placed kisses on her inner thighs. He worked his way up until he was dangerously close to her crotch. Once there, he flicked his tongue right at the joining of her leg and her panty covered cunt. Violet emitted a moan and her eyes popped open.
"I'm awake."-She said.
That, however, would not deter Tate. He wanted to tease her a bit more. He pulled her panties to one side and took her clit into his mouth. Violet couldn't help but react to that.
"I'm up! Oh, fuck!"-She said as Tate slipped two of his fingers inside her now dripping walls. When he heard that, he stopped.
"Happy birthday Vi."-He says with a smile.
"You asshole!"-She said and hit him playfully. He chuckled and when she was going to open her mouth again, he shut her up with a kiss.
"I'll make it up to you later."
She rolled her eyes but gave him a smile.
She really didn't know why Tate and her mother insisted on celebrating her birthday. She would never actually age, after all. But they insisted and she gave up. Though it did bother her that she had never celebrated Tate's birthday. She thought it was unfair. She vocalized the thought on various occasions and he ignored her. She expressed the thought again.
"It's not fair to you, Tate."
"I don't care about me, Violet. I'm happy just being with you. Besides, it's August, not January. You couldn't celebrate my birthday even if you tried. It wouldn't make sense."
"Can't I treat today like it's your birthday?"
"No. Today's about you."
"Fine. But when it's your turn you better not give me shit about how you don't care."
"But I do. So when it's your birthday, you are going to let me pamper you however I want. And you're going to let me wake up like you woke me up: I start blowing you and then I stop."
"Ok."-He said and gave her a peck. "Whatever you say."
"I mean it. That can be my present from you. You promise that I get to tease you but be extremely nice to you on your birthday."
"I already got you a present."
She gave him a look. "I thought you said today was about me."
"Then say yes."
"Alright Vi. You can 'pamper' me on my birthday."
She gave him a kiss. "Thank you."
Even though, in Violet's mind, the perfect birthday would mean that she never had to leave her room, Tate had other plans. It was a bit past noon and, though it took slight persuasion on his part, Tate finally got Violet to get dressed properly.
Tate led her to the living room and there she found Moira, her baby brother and her mother around a living room that was covered in nature decorations.
It was sweet that they worked with what little they had. There was some paint in the attic and there were old newspapers all over. Moira loved crafts and she took the opportunity to make the room look pretty for the 15-year-old ghost.
There were lilies, roses, tulips, dahlias, daisies and several other flowers surrounding the room. All of them had been made from newspaper and, though some of them had been heavily painted, a lot of them were left with the original print. Tate insisted that they would be more interesting that way. He thought Violet would love them in that raw state. When Violet looked up she noticed that hanging from the ceiling were paper birds. She hadn't wanted them to make a fuss but she loved this paper garden. It was unique, it seemed otherworldly and…it made her happy.
"Happy birthday, Violet!"-Vivien said handing the baby to Moira so that she could give her daughter a hug.
"Thanks mom. Moira."-Moira smiled at the girl in return.
"We had some things bought for you."-Mom said.
"You didn't have to do that. It could have waited until Halloween."
"I thought so too, but your mother and your little psychopath insisted. I agreed with them in the long run. Your mother, however, was the brave one."
"Brave?"-Violet asked confused by the wording.
"Yeah. Tate and Moira avoid Constance at all costs. I took that bullet."
That explained it. No one really wanted to deal with Constance.
"Wow. Go mom."
Vivien laughed. "It surprised me when she actually got everything I asked of her."
"I'm happy just being here in the paper wonderland. It looks great. Some of the paper looks ancient."-She said examining one of the dahlias.
"We used paper that's been in the attic for years. It's a miracle that most of it was in good condition."-Moira said. "We planned all of this out. I did the flowers."
"I took care of the birds."-Tate whispered in her ear. She felt herself smile.
They can fly away when things get to crazy.
I want you to be happy and free.
He was always trying to make her happy. Always trying to be romantic. Corny or not, it always worked.
"They did that and I put them all in place. I guess you can say it was a team effort."
Violet took in the scenery again. She walked to the center of the room and sat down on the bare spot in the paper crafted world. She looked up at the hanging birds and smiled.
"Here, Vi. I got this for you."-Vivien said as she sat down next to Violet and handed her a small box.
Violet eyed it curiously and opened it. Inside was a silver heart locked around a pretty silver chain. The outside of the locket was unadorned. Violet chuckled; her mother knew that she would prefer it that way even though they had never discussed lockets. She opened the heart and inside she saw a picture of herself and her mother. The picture had been taken before the miscarriage. It was a moment where everything was perfect between the two of them. The other side of the locket was empty: waiting to be decorated with a picture of someone she loves.
"I love it. Empty side and all."-She hugged her mother in thanks.
"That's where my present comes in."-Moira said.
"You got me something too?"
"Yes. It was easy to do so when your mother told me what she was getting you."
Vivien gave Violet the present that Moira had gotten her. This box was a big bigger than the previous one and it was wrapped with purple paper. Violet ripped at the paper and found an instant Polaroid camera.
"They still make these?"
"Yes. This isn't the newest model but it's still quite modern. It prints out the pictures and does all that computer stuff. Ingenious little thing. "
Violet looked at Tate. He was leaning against the door frame, watching her with enamored eyes. She gave him a small smile. Of course Moira would know what she'd fill the other side of the locket with if given the chance.
"Thanks Moira. I'll put it to good use."
"I'm sure you will."-Moira said in a cheeky tone.
"Moira!"-Vivien warned with wide eyes. Everyone laughed. "So…cake?"
"You wanted strawberry cake."-Tate said.
It hit her. A few weeks ago, Violet had been craving strawberry cake. She didn't really know why but she did. As always, Tate had listened. Violet hadn't even paid that much attention to the craving since then. It was sweet that he had remembered.
"You have to look for it. It's somewhere among the flowers."-he said.
"Shit. That's going to take forever."
"No. Just think about Halloween."
He meant the black rose, of course. As if it were that easy to find a black rose in a roomful of newspaper flowers and birds as well as colored flowers and birds. There were hints of black here and there but she figured it would be hard to find. She got up from her spot and started looking…being careful not to break the flowers. While she did that, the other three knew that no part was complete without music. Tate handed Vivien the iPod that Violet still carried around and it was plugged in to the stereo Violet had kept.
Moira took the baby out for a bit and Vivien just gave Tate a smile as she exited the room. Violet kept looking.
"Are you sure I'm looking for a black rose?"-She said.
"I can't find it."
"You're forgetting details."
"You said Halloween. You gave me a black rose."
Violet realized. "But you didn't give it to me here."
She grabbed his hand and they headed toward the basement. In the process, Ben appeared and was going to open his mouth to speak but before he could, he was stopped by a firm 'Go away' from the two teenagers. Once in the basement, Tate flicked the lights on and Violet saw her mother holding the black rose…atop a big cupcake. She smiled.
"This is your present? I love it."
He said nothing. Violet walked over to her mother who gave her the cupcake.
"This is getting excessive."
"There's just one more thing."-Tate said. "I don't care if you think it's corny. I just want you to have it."
He walked over to her and asked her to hold out her left hand. She properly gripped the cupcake with her right and gave him her hand. Tate placed a small ring on the palm of her hand. He wanted to put it on her finger but he was afraid of how she would react…it was meant for her ring finger after all.
Violet looked at the ring and then at Tate. "What is this?"
"No, I mean…what's this supposed to be?"
"Whatever you want it to be."
Violet considered this for a few seconds. "Put it on my finger, Tate."
"Are you sure?"
Tate grabbed the ring from her hand and put it on her ring finger. He kissed her firmly and said: "Happy thirtieth, Violet."
She smiled as she gathered some frosting on her finger and put it on his nose. He laughed.
Violet had originally planned to pamper Tate for his fiftieth birthday, but she changed her mind and decided to do something else. Something that he would want more than being pampered. She had given it much thought after they had joked about eloping in Vegas last Halloween. Months later, when they celebrated Christmas by making love in front of the fireplace and then wrapping a blanket around themselves to cuddle, Violet just knew.
She talked to her mother, told her father what she was doing because she wanted to show common courtesy and asked Moira to officiate. During the dawn of his birthday, Violet kissed him gently and quietly left while he was still sleeping.
When Tate woke up, he knew right away that Violet wasn't in bed. He always knew when she was missing and was actually surprised that he hadn't woken up when she left this time. In her place he found a note.
You said you would let me pamper you for your birthday. I did you one better.
I love you,
P.S. Sorry this means you don't get blue balled from an unfinished blowjob. Find Moira.
Tate laughed at her note, got up and followed the instructions. He went around the house in search of Moira and found her in the office.
"Good, you've arrived on time. You need to change."
"Change for what?"
"You just need to change."
"I think the ones I have on are fine."
"It's not what she wants."
"What who wants?"
"I thought this was supposed to be my birthday."
"Believe me, this is the only thing that could be considered a mild inconvenience for you today."
"She planned something big?"
"You could say that. And it's not that you're required to wear formal attire. Violet merely requested that you wear one of those striped sweaters of yours. Preferably the green one from the first time you met, she said."
"After you change, go out to the gazebo. That's all."
He did as he was told. He was sure that whatever Violet had in store for him was worth all the mystery. He went outside and around the gazebo were a few of the residents of the Murder House: Chad, Patrick, Travis, Elizabeth, Beau Lorraine, Margaret, Angela and, of course, Vivien and the baby. Under the gazebo, however, was Moira standing next to a glowing Violet. She was always beautiful to him but the dress she had on made her look almost angelic. It was a white lace dress and over it she wore one of her long cardigans. If he didn't know any better, he would say that he was about to get married.
He walked over to Violet and asked: "Are we getting married or something?"
"Don't ask questions you already know the answer to. You're smarter than that."
She gave him a peck. "Happy birthday, you old man."
"Hey! Fifty isn't that old."
"Not when you don't look a day over seventeen."
He laughed. "So how are we getting this show on the road?"
"So eager to be married to me."
Moira couldn't contain herself from emitting a kind smile. When the two teens looked her way, she commenced the ceremony.
"Today we're doing the impossible. Two ghosts are getting married. Two souls who found each other under the strangest of circumstances and who went through a lot of trouble to even allow themselves to be together. They've fought against their better judgment and her family's expectations to find common ground. This isn't a normal union under any circumstances, but it is still a union. So today, we unite Tate Langdon and Violet Harmon. Your vows, Mr. Langdon…"
Tate looked at Violet and thought about what he wanted to say. He thought it would be better if he spoke the absolute truth...without embellishments. "I love you. You've forgiven me when I didn't deserve it, been with me when I should have been left to rot and given me everything I've ever wanted. You've given me love. I promise to love you unconditionally and eternally."
Moira nodded. "Miss Harmon…"
"You've always done everything you could to make my happy. You are perfectly imperfect and I love you for it. I promise to always be your light, through the best of times and the worst of times. I'll love you eternally."
Just when Moira was about to declare the vows exchanged and all but name them married, Ben barged in.
"You can't marry him, Violet."
Ben was about to charge at the groom like an elephant in a stampede. That being said, he never even got the chance to step on the gazebo. Hayden stabbed the man until he fell unconscious to the ground and then kicked him away.
"You better wrap it up there, you old bag. We don't want him to wake up."
"Why Hayden?"-Vivien asked, voicing the question on everyone's minds.
"He waited for her. Like he said he would. He deserves his happiness."-Hayden said.
Moira got back to the ceremony. "The vows have been exchanged and so have the rings. I declare these two husband and wife, partners for eternity. You may kiss the bride."
They smiled as Tate framed her jaw and gave her a long, loving kiss. Now, Violet was his in every way that she could be his and he was hers in every way that he could be and wanted to be. It was definitely the best birthday he had ever had. They were so lost in their kiss and so immersed in their own little world that they couldn't hear the 'guests' clapping or see Vivien's crying face or register Chad bawling his eyes out while he slapped Patrick in the face. They were living in their very own movie...and this time, Juliet woke just in time to stop Romeo from drinking his poison. When they broke apart, they held hands as he said:
"Best birthday I've ever had."
Their wedding night was passionate and loving. Neither had thought that they would ever get married. In life they weren't interested and in death it seemed implausible, but somehow they had still done it. Tate kissed her everywhere and made love to her enthusiastically, all the while contemplating how right Violet Langdon sounded and how well it rolled off his tongue. She, in turn slapped him playfully and laughed when he kept calling her Mrs. Langdon. She would never admit that she liked the name Violet Langdon out loud. She knew that he knew even if she didn't say it, however.
Hours later, when Violet wrapped her arms around Tate and the two started dozing off, they felt perfectly content. Nothing would ever get in their way again that they couldn't handle. In each other's arms they were safe and fearless. Death had been their beginning and eternity was now their playground.