Title: Jungianism

Author: grayglube

Summary: It's tragic. But the house is full of tragic things.

Spoilers/Warnings/Triggers: language, sexual content, consensual breathplay, violence, trigger mentions of sexual assault, small bit of gore-ish material, angest

Author's Notes: This was for the second round of the ahs_exchange over at LJ it won Best Smut. ScarWo also won best smut which I am not at lall surprised by. I think the fics this round were even better than the first. Go over and READ THEM ALL!


PART I:

I maintained that psychiatry, in the broadest sense, is a dialogue between the sick psyche and the psyche of the doctor, which is presumed to be 'normal.' It is a coming to terms between the sick personality and that of the therapist, both in principle equally subjective.

"Do you think she's happy? Really?"

"She's as happy as can expected after dealing with such traumatic events."

"'Traumatic events.'"

He tests the words on his tongue while moving to mimic the posture of the man sitting across from him on the other side of the uneven coffee table.

"…"

Ben Harmon suppresses the want to clench his teeth.

Tate goes on.

"When your relationship turned to shit with your wife did you think about how it was when it started? Or was it just little things all over the place? I get that."

"Get what?"

The boy smirks knowingly.

"You wouldn't really want to talk about it."

Ben sighs and rolls his eyes before letting out a breath towards the ceiling.

"You're performing, Tate," he mumbles around the filter of the cigarette he pushes between his lips.

"…"

Tate scowls.

"Go on," he goads with a plume of smoke because he can put on a performance to.

"It's like post traumatic stress disorder, but…in my dick."

"…"

"You must know what I mean."

Leaning back into the chair he watches him for a reaction but Ben is used to this.

"I don't think I do."

"Really? Okay." Tate runs a hand through the curled fringe falling over his eyes and wets his mouth with a careful tongue tip. "Like guys who come back from Vietnam who hear firecrackers either duck under the table, right? Or they just go berserk. Like that, except in your dick."

"…"

"But she's more like sparkler than a firecracker…,"

"We're not here to talk about her, Tate."

"Oh, so we'll just talk iof/i her then, fine. That student you fucked and ruined your marriage with tried to fuck me yesterday and I thought 'why not'…"

"Why?"

"I was feeling spiteful yesterday."

"Because of what?"

"That would be talking about."

The chiding tone of the boy who's a father's worst fear makes him want to break open his skull on the edge of the table.

"…"

"And I just couldn't get it up because all that spiteful shit was still about her."

"I understand."

"But now, talking about…no of… the idea of my dick not ever being in any other girl but her, right now, has me pretty fucking hard, Doctor Harmon."

"Go away, Tate"


They slip into old roles, and they all know they're playing at what they used to be, games just to pass the time. Or mark it with something definitive, moments they can make something tangible out of or intangible, some new task to perform or just something to think about later.

He can be Doctor Harmon and Tate can pretend he's a patient, his wife can be a real mother again and his daughter can brood over the inconsequential as if it's the most important thing to waste time on. That's all there is, time to waste, to fill, to make mundane with new habits, routines, diversions. It's all just a collection of performances, the ones they have all the time they need or want to prepare for, the roles they have always wanted to be in.

Maybe one day Tate will be Prince Charming and Violet will be some sunshine girl. Maybe he'll be the house's token violent psychopath. Maybe Vivien will be the new Nora. He could even be her Charles, some no darker than the real thing mirror to the patent tragic couple.

But then the house is full of those: Him and Vivien, Him and Hayden, Charles and Nora, Chad and Patrick, Constance and whatever man she comes across, Tate and Violet.

Murders and suicides and children who never live up to their parents' ideals (or live at all) really wreck havoc on the healthiness of one's relationship with the person they promise to love forever, the person they love right then, the person they thought they loved, the person they can't help but love.


"You never knew for sure did you?

"Never knew what for sure?"

"If we'd had sex. We did, a lot."

"I'm sure."

"You're mocking me."

"Maybe not as many times as you've had sex with your wife but then again I'm a lot younger than you, in terms of iliving/i years. Being stuck in this house with nothing to do but jerk off most days when there's no electricity, no water, no food, no people, it just makes you appreciate actually doing it with another person, so maybe not a lot of sex but better sex than you or your wife were having, for sure."

"Sex doesn't make a relationship."

"It's a vital part of it."

"But it's not the focal point of the ones that last."

"So…was I her fling?"

"Maybe she felt like she was lacking something with the absence of a stern parental presence at a crucial time in her life, maybe she was looking to replace that loss with something temporary until issues out of her control involving that parental presence was resolved."

"So she was just trying to fill a void you guys left?"

"…"

"I think she was happy I could fill more than that for her."

There's a look that passes between them and then the boy is gone without ever needing those two magic words being uttered to do so.


"Don't worry I didn't hurt her, physically you know. I'm not like that."

"Does it excite you to talk about these things?"

"You should tell me to go away or I will istart/i talking about 'these' things."

"Do you feel as if I have a right to know about your sexual relationship with my daughter?"

"No. But you do. So let's talk. No issue is too personal or too embarrassing, this is a safe place to discuss my feelings and views and opinions."

"Do you enjoy this, Tate?"

"Enjoy what exactly?"

"Seeing how far you can push? How much you'll be able to get in before I give in and break your skull open on the table."

"I just want to see if we've got a boundary."

"We do and you're coming pretty close to it."

"We do? Even after I raped your wife and fell in love with your daughter we have boundaries?"

"You don't scare me, Tate."

"You don't really scare me either, to be honest."

"But there are boundaries."

"Maybe, but don't lie to yourself Doctor Harmon, this is an honest space right? You wish I'd cross it, wish you could, because you could ask all those questions you can't ask your wife or your daughter."

"And what are 'those' questions?"

"Whether you're wife came, whether you're daughter still has sex with me."

"And the answers to those questions?"

"Your wife did and you're daughter doesn't."


"Do you want to know about it?"

"..."

"Her first time."

"Not particularly, no."

"Well it's kind of hard to talk about the important life altering shit when I have to avoid the majority of them because they happen to deal with her too."

"Don't push things."

"So we can talk about it?"

"Talk about your first time."

"Same time."

"..."

Tate clicks his tongue against his teeth at the raised eyebrow and tightlipped scowl Doctor Harmon's face contorts into.

"Oh, yeah…no we didn't do it that early. Violet's not a slut or an idiot, god! You think we did it then? That soon?"

There's tense silence filled with something violent from the other side of the table.

"I don't consider what I did to your wife the quintessential 'first time', she thought I was you so there's some grey area you know?"

"But the time that I think of as the first time was satisfying."

"I hear it's supposed to be."

"It's instinctual; do you know what I mean?"

"What is?"

"Never mind."

"Tell me."

"Have you ever been with someone and they look up at you like you're their whole world while you're inside them like?"

"Tate."

"Sorry."

"..."

"And it's a lot of mess, sex. You know?"

"Comes with the territory."

"Have you ever taken someone's virginity? Very messy, bloody."

"What type of reaction are you trying to get out of me, Tate?"

"She wouldn't let me lick her afterwards, but I tried. And as for a reaction from you, I was hoping for a violent one."

"I think we'll take a break from our talks, Tate."

"Boundaries, right?"

Tate scowls and slams the door on his way out of the room.


He records their sessions together because his daughter has always been a bit of a cross between Nancy Drew and some noir movie Bogart portrayal, part junior girl detective, part cigarette and silly hat.

And he has no doubt that what's said about her will not please her and won't affirm some teenage dream that Tate Langdon loves her. Love is not what they had or have or might find.

Tate Langdon wants to feel it and pretends he does and may convince himself he loves things and people but he can't because love for psychopaths doesn't provoke some sort of higher emotional response. It's merely a want associated with a person instead of a thing even then that isn't right since the difference between people and things for psychopaths is that one can talk and feel pain and think and the other can't. Love is just a want for a thing that's more entertaining than a toy or an activity.

His daughter does feel it but she pretends that the person or the thing that she feels it for matters. Violet's sociopathic tendencies outweigh her psychopathic, she may acknowledge that people and things are different but her own motives and wants mean that she finds it simple to allocate people and things onto and into levels, niches, of what matters to her and what doesn't matter to her, she's self-centered and cruel and would probably feel more loss over the destruction of her favorite Zippo lighter than she does over her mother's rape.

The little tapes with secrets coded in on their films stretched across tiny plastic wheels will just about do the job, everything else she can piece together herself so in the end she tears herself apart just to get to the parts that are made up of Tate Langdon, pull them out and burn them and leave the people who really love her to put her back together the way she used to be.

Before everything.

Before Tate Langdon and the house and the dead baby brother and the parents that didn't think they loved each other anymore and the nasty little habits of smoking and self mutilation she picked up along the way.

He can't lie and say he knows it will work, but he hopes.

Really, he does.

Because if it should happen not to work he's getting to the point where a whole happy family may not be what he needs, may not be what works. Maybe some parts are defective or just too similar.

He's not an idiot.

He is inot/i an idiot.

His daughter is more like him than her mother.

And he just happens to be a lot like the boy he's been sitting opposite of for these past few months or years or decades at this point.

He's a little drunk when he starts thinking: A is C and B is C, A and B are both C, C is psychopathy and about what happens if Violet is A or B and then the entirety of the logical equation shifts from equaling to adding up. If suddenly A is C and B is C becomes A plus B then C is a bit more shared psychopathy than a plainer variation.

His world becomes a bit more complicated with a happy family where the family he wants has a little psycho in it. His daughter just happened to turn out to be more of a little psycho than his first dead son ever got a chance to stay alive to become and his second dead son will never grow up to be because his second dead son won't ever grow up at all.

He's pouring another drink while he's trying to decide if his happy family would be happy enough one way and not the other.

He's sufficiently drunk while he tries to figure out what exactly those ways are.

Eventually, while still sufficiently drunk, he decides that what it really comes down to is how much his daughter resembles him.


He's never really wanted to talk to Doctor Harmon, not the first time they had started their sessions together, not now, but he does because he knows how lacking viable forms of entertainment are in the years the house goes uninhabited. He's also aware of just how meticulous her father is in filing all their clandestine "talk to me" sessions.

Really, the good doctor might as well hand his daughter the box himself with a ribbon on it for her birthday.

She's been a good girl for years; as good as a person can be when they exile themselves into self made hermit-hood.

So when he steals into her room at night and spies the tape recorder on the floor next to her bed it's not really a surprise.

And when he comes back the next to find her with her hand working furiously down the front of her underwear it's an expected outcome.

She doesn't know he's there because he doesn't announce his presence, which is something he knows backtracks all the not so nonexistent progress he's been making in his sessions, but it feels so much like déjà vu that he can't quite bring himself to come out and say boo.

It feels like before when she didn't know he existed in the dark corners of her creepy bedroom, the one he still thought of as his until she came and made it smell like Marlboro lights and lily of the valley and under the covers orgasms.


PART II:

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.

He hunched in the shadow of the beast that is the house gone dismal and dilapidated, she's standing in front of him and then she's crouching in front of him, he just stares back at her face.

She doesn't say anything so he scowls and pulls her forward with a fistful of her shirtfront in his grip and slots their mouths together, hers is open and hot and dry against his like she's been sucking the air out of a hairdryer, he doesn't mind, he might even like it a little bit.

It's like kissing burning sand.

The ground doesn't quake and the world doesn't end and he knows she's coming around, right then while they stare back at each other while they mimic a mannequin couple kissing, to know that they can do this if they want to.

If she wants to she can do it.

The promise of eternity makes people not give a shit about other people, everyone only cares about what they are going to do, and everyone has got a lot of things to do, or a lot of nothing to do to fill their eternity of time with.

So she can kiss him if she wants to and as it turns out she wants to do more than just kiss him with open dispassionate eyes, but not then.

Soon though.


Sometime between taking their clothes off and him moving to thrust back inside her body after his cock's first return and retreat he's lost her somewhere.

She lets out a little gasp when her eyes open and find his, half lidded and looking down at her like she's the pavement he'll hit if he jumps off a ledge fifty stories up.

Her mouth is slack and her eyes are wide in the wrong way.

He swallows and she watches his throat before squirming under him stiffly and snapping her gaze to somewhere over his shoulder.

"Do you want to stop?"

She nods wildly immediately after he's given the words to the bare amount of space between their faces.

"Yes."

It takes a moment too long for him to find the moral fortitude to readily relinquish the type of solace he's only ever found between her legs, inside of her, long enough for her to go into the tight-chested sort of skittish panic where she's pushing at his damp chest and sending him further away on the bed he's sprawled naked across.

She's small and shaken now that all that cosmic scale lust has left her, now that she's come back to the fact that they're naked on the bed and his dick still has the sense memory of where it just was and how it's all so suddenly real instead of a much simpler fantasy she's probably wishing she stuck to instead of going back to the reality of it.

And there's the look he knows girls get when what they're doing isn't what they want after all and the presence of someone else just makes it worse.

The sweat on his skin, hers and his, has cooled and he suppresses a shiver.

She's going to cry, but she's slow in her escape from the sheets and the room so the tears almost start falling right then before she can even decide where it is she's going to flee to.

It's the connecting bathroom and the door doesn't completely muffle the sound of her shoulders thumping up against it on the other side.

He hears the tub and he can't fault her for wanting to scald away any phantasmal sensation of his body on top of hers away.

He wouldn't fault her if she turned the bath water red trying to scrape it off with one of her sharp little friends hidden in an old washcloth under the sink.

She's raised up on her knees next to the tub with the ugly bath mat rug leaving raw red impressions on the tender skin with her brow bowed onto the lipped edge, one hand steaming pink over the angry torrent of water from the faucet, the other is trapped between the thighs he'd been between before she'd gone weepy. Her lips are rolling over each other like snakes and the weepiness is laced with whimpers while she works to relieve the ache he started inside of her with his dick.

There's a roughness in the way she pants that he knows from experience as meaning she's cum. His lips quirk when her brow smashes softly against the tub when the tension rolls out of her neck. She rattles and hisses and sees him all while still circling her clit against the roughened heel of her hand.

That hand falls away to hang limp between her knees while the one humid and pink tries to rub out the bruise darkening on her forehead and she looks more than small and sad, she looks ashamed and restless. She twitches away from his hands when he tries to press her against his body, because he's still him and the feel of his skin makes hers crawl, because despite needing it for comfort she only wants it for pleasure.

Comfort's for forgiveness and she's not there yet.

Pleasure has a burn to it that can satisfy her when she's at her most masochistic.

"Leave?"

She nods but he knows the small movement of it cracks her resolve in some small unseen way. She turns her head and closes her eyes and he knows dismissal when he sees it so he goes.

Icy things can crack without thawing first he knows.

It will take time but nowhere near close to what he's already sworn to give to the task.


He's standing at the foot of her bed; the tears start when she sits up and stares back at him.

She scowls and pushes the blankets off in a wave, swinging her legs out onto the floor and staring down at her toes with a heavy sigh.

There's a moment when she catches his eyes on her legs bared by loose shorts and the amount of midriff on display from her mother's old cut up Guns and Roses t-shirt.

She steps around the bed until her toes almost rasp across the rubber soles of his converse, until the hollow of his throat is close enough to press her mouth to.

He goes to his knees the same way sand slips out of someone's hand, a type of slow that's fast. His hands are soft and loose on her hips; his forehead and the bridge of his nose are hot against her stomach.

There's the hot sticky drip of tears off his nose down her navel and the itchy sharpness of wet eyelashes at the bottom of her ribs when his face rolls back and forth across her skin.

His mouth is damp and sticks on her skin when he presses a kiss on top of all the stupid tears he's crying all over her. It reminds her of a picture of her parents when her mother was bloated up with pregnancy and her father smiled while kissing at his wife's pushed out belly button.

And that like everything else reminds her of things she's never going to get, baby, a wedding, a highschool diploma, a tattoo, all she has is him and it's not quite enough to make her happy.

"Stop that." She presses her fingers against his scalp and pushes back his head.

"..."

She can't help shaking her head and smiling a bit bitterly at his shiny doll boy eyes and blotchy face.

"You never cry when you're alone."

"What?"

"You only cry when you're around other people. That's how I know you aren't really sorry."

There's a blankness of something she'd called shock on his face, but it's not, not really. It's the look someone gets when they get pegged right. She had it the first time her mother asked if she was smoking and said no only to be confronted with the ashtray she's been hiding under her dresser when she was fifteen.

She strokes his scalp with her nails and he doesn't even flinch.

"You do all the things you think people who are sorry do, but people who are sorry who aren't being forgiven don't cry."

She cocks her head at him and clicks her tongue."They're frustrated and angry and then they yell and scream to try and make you forgive them," she looks away from his stoic stone statue face. "No one cries like you do when they're sorry."

And he doesn't deny it.

Why should he, really?

"You don't really care about what it felt like for my mom to go through that, to suffer like that. You only give a shit over it because I hate you for it because she's my mother. Like you broke one of my toys instead of my family, instead of me."

Her nose is in the air, some little girl's self important snobbery that she's wont to do.

"Violet," his tone is careful.

She tsks and scratches at her stomach which itches the same way as it did when he used to come on it because he didn't know she'd known he was already dead and because he'd known she didn't know she was already dead, neither of them having the foresight to perpetuate their lies with an easier solution like a little bit of latex in a foil pouch.

"Shut the fuck up, now I'm all itchy. Thanks asshole."

His tongue slips against her stomach against her fingers almost immediately, trying to make up for something with the sexual ease that comes natural to him because he can do things better physically than he can emotionally.

But he ends up sprawled on his back with his eyes comically wide and his lips shut tight together in the type of shock boys get when girls get a little rough with them.

"You're really fucked up, you know that?"

"Yeah...," he wets his lips and nods, "I know."

He doesn't move and she leans back against her bed with an easy slouch. Her hands curled tight against the metal railing. His knees are open and his hair is a mess and there's a seam of skin showing between shirt hem and the lip of his jeans and all she can think about is before when she made him stop and maybe it isn't sex she needs so much as some kind of primitive control over him to get rid of the idea of him fucking her mom.

The side of her bare foot is already sliding firm up the inside of his thigh and his chest is bouncing up and down like a backyard trampoline. She's bypassed all the important parts and pushed his shirt up with the hem stuck between her toes. His skin is smooth and warm against her heel. "So, where are they?"

He frowns grumpily.

"It hurts."

"Like I give a shit," is her only rebuttal before he gives in.

They don't just appear, they sink in. He looks like a melting candle as his chest puckers into holes and the skin twists into a conglomeration of twisted sinkholes all black edges and pink rawness and vivid bright red. There's so much blood, it's a mess and there's no gushing of it, just the slow-quick seep of it out of him even though he doesn't need it and then when it stops it's tacky and suctioning a layer to the underside of her foot like tape.

"No headshot, huh?"

"Nope," he answers, watching while she reaches with her foot, going up on her other set of toes so she can really reach where the highest shots went, right under his collar bone.

His chest feels like a rocky east coast beach, and her toes slip against the edges, circling the pocked mark landscape, she bets she can fit them inside of his chest and wiggle them around.

She's smiling and he notices.

He wraps long fingers around her ankle and slips them under her heel and pulls, her other leg almost crumples and she scowls.

He kisses her sole and licks a damp stripe up it. She doesn't manage to smother the falsetto gasp that tears its way out of her throat. He licks and kisses and sucks obscenely on her toes and her cunt flutters, hard and unrelenting because all it makes her think of is him licking her nipples and sucking kisses into her chest.

Her breathing isn't believably calm, mostly due to the fact that she has to keep catching it while she talks. "You wanna be my bitch?"

His smirk has wattage to it, "Yeah, I wanna be your bitch."

"What would you do to go back to before?"

His tongue flicks out against her ankle, "Whatever I need to."

"You'd let monster basement baby gnaw your dick off?"

"Would that be enough for you to let me put it your mouth?"

"You're imy/i bitch."

"Even bitches get fucked."

He pulls and she steps on the inside of his thigh before knocking her knee into the floor as she sits down hard on his pelvis, he winces and hisses before sitting up, his hand on top of her pointed knee and the one folded down next to his hip.

"Is that we do? Fuck?" The notion seems sad and pitiful now.

"We could."

She knows they could.

"Or we could make love."

"Hmph," she snorts with an open mouth and distaste, because Tate Langdon is a fucking liar and a head-case and she's not much better.

"I love you, Violet. Don't you love me?"

There's something like sincerity and emotion in all his words but almost anyone can fake whatever they want if they have enough practice.

"I love you," her voice is flat. "I love you so much," and then it's a snarl.

"Then let me make love to you." He persists as if love is something he can prove with his dick.

"No."

"Why not?"

"When you touch me like that I hate you more."

His lips are chapped and she can't stop looking at them and wanting to tear them apart more with her teeth.

"Because you're a liar and crazy and you raped my mother."

And his eyes are dark.

"I didn't know you'd be my dreamgirl, you know?"

"What?"

And cold.

"I didn't have you then. All I had was someone who would only think I mattered if I got her a baby. You have no fucking idea what it's like here when you have no one."

And she wants to rip them out of his fucking skull.

"God, you are a fucking pyscho."

"And you didn't give a shit until I did something with my dick."

He's right.

He fucked her mom.

And it kills her.

"That's always the worst for some reason. What I did with a gun or an axe or some gasoline and a match somehow seems forgivable but the sex part is what bothers you." His laugh is small and sour.

"She's my mother."

"Yeah. And you only care because you and me had sex after all that. Because you want to own me. Your little monster."

She wonders why he only starts talking truth when he shouldn't.

"Is that why you told me to stop?"

It looks like he wants to grin because she won't answer his question.

"Because you think that I touched her like I touch you? That I think about raping her when I'm in you?"

She doesn't want to answer any of his self indulgent questions, not when they tear her the fuck apart and make her insidious and ugly squirming personal doubts come to the surface.

"I was going to rape you."

There's something white-hot and mean that hates him and makes her jerk forward and back but his fingers are tight on her knees and hold her tight while he tells her things she doesn't really want to hear, or things she really shouldn't want to hear because it's always been 'shouldn't' instead of' not wanting to' with them.

"But you were a virgin and it'd be a whole big deal and you might have gotten rid of it. But your mom wanted a baby and she thought I was your dad." He wants to disturb her, to make her regret making him tell her in order to clear the air. "The suit…made it easy, and she was kinda into it. You're mom's kinda a freak too-," he sputters when her face falls at him calling her a freak, "when it comes to sex."

Again she jerks because if she's a freak than he's a whole three-ring-circus.

"I came into your room and watched you sleep and thought about how I would do it to you and that got me hard enough to do it to her."

She snaps, "Why haven't you?"

"You don't rape the girl you love."

"So now you have morals?"

"I don't want you to not want me."

"How was it?"

Because he's already told her too much already.

"Better than jerking off."

"Did she like it?"

"Not really, she knew something was off. But she came."

Her hands pound his chest, "Christ, Tate!" He doesn't put his up to push her back.

"Why are you so stupid?" She screams in his face and lets her tear at his gaping death sentences with her nails.

"I was lonely. I wanted someone for myself, a mom or something.."

"God," she slumps into him.

"I just want you."

"Why are you here?"

"Because I don't want you to forget about me."

"I can't even get away from you," she mumbles climbing off him and leaving him on the floor.

"Come here."

"I have to take a shower. Just leave me alone."

"Violet."

It hurts, the way he says her name hurts like all the other things he does hurt her.


It doesn't feel broken, it feels like forever. They've got the time for it so they work fast for an orgasm that will bring them back down to the point where they have to laze their way, sleepy and slow, through foreplay for the umpteenth time.

She keeps her skirt only because she doesn't want him to watch, he's sure of that and of all the little ways she can be so completely cruel, but he gets her out of her shirt and pretty lace sling, because it really isn't what he'd call a bra.

And even then, it isn't as if he's charmed her out of it, just tried to mouth at her through too many layers for long enough to irritate her.

He lets his tongue slick over the red lines the tight elastic has left behind in a stark curved line banding the underside of her perky tits, over the slope of her shoulders and down her scapulas.

He's got his mouth open over her little breast as much as he can despite the want to devour what's between her legs instead, for now he's more than alright with letting it devour parts of his anatomy long neglected by the heat of her body.

But this isn't really about him.

It's about her pretending she's not dead by bouncing on his dick, rocking her sad little world out of perspective on top of him.

He looks at her and it's like noonday sun, fuzzy and indistinctly bright, in the middle of a bitter and harsh east coast winter. Like licking a frozen street sign post. Intense and a muted sort of bright that keeps her wary but no less enthralled throughout.

It scares the shit out of her.

Because it ruins her every fucking time.

They've been in the room for hours, touching and fucking and coming undone, her skin's wet all over from his sweat and the only energy she has left is the desperate kind.

The length of his arm is hot against the outside of hers and when she turns her head against the mattress to stare sideways at him she watches the rapid up and down of his chest which rises higher than her tiny breasts do when she's lying down next to him.

His eyes are closed so she leans over on her elbow and licks the salt wet skin of his eyelids until one peels up and he groans low in his throat, not out of arousal but as a plea for rest.

"Again."

His eyes snap open and there's disbelief in them when she nuzzles his chin with the bridge of her nose before mouthing at the curve of his jaw, before scraping teeth over the rough patch of perpetual teenage stubble above the soft hollow of his throat while keeping her eyes up on his.

"I want to," she tells him.

He pointedly looks down.

"You can't?"

He inhales deep and unsteady, still trying to catch his breath. He takes another, more final intake of air to calm the flutter of lungs in his chest before grabbing the underside of her elbows and putting her back against where the imprint of his are still dipped into the mattress.

Her knees fall open loosely much more easily now that they've built up some long forgotten carnality.

His mouth is hot and damp and she's slick from an afternoon filled with nothing but relearning what they each like best and his cock.

Hefted up on her elbows she can watch him pull out on his tongue everything he's been pumping into her, everything that isn't already dampening her sheets or cooling slick and tacky on her thighs.

She remembers this.

How long his tongue feels when he's spelling his name on her clit or across her folds like she knows he must do because she does the same when she's got him in her mouth.

She knows he likes it when it hurts a little so she threads fingers through his hair and presses him closer. Close enough that when his tongue slides along like a snake inside of her she can press against the bridge of his nose for just the perfect amount of delicious pressure, the faintness of stubble on his jaw line chafes the tender inside of her thighs.

There's a gurgling rasp that sounds vaguely like his name tumbling out past her lips when she comes and a clearer version of just that when she catches her breath being panted across his lips when they're face to face again.

Her tongue swipes across his palate and teeth to sample what tastes more like him than her.

"Another?"

He's already circling between her thighs with tender fingertips. She whimpers over his tired smirking mouth, "uh-huh."

His fingers smooth down inside of her thigh and he's rolling off his side and over onto her.

"Wha-..."

His face sags. Disappointed. Her brow furrows in confusion.

"..."

When he looks down and frots against her hip she's reminded of parts of him that have had enough time to recover.

"Yeah...," she smiles and relaxes under him, "Yeah."

He grins and grips himself to steady his entrance. She helps and tilts her head to the side to watch.

The hand next to her head fists the sheets and he's got his other splayed across her collar bone. It feels possessive.

She squirms and his bowed head rises up. Sweat falls off the ends of his hair and onto her breasts while his hand smoothes over her throat. She wants to make a joke about it being kinky but she's too turned on for juvenile humor, part of her wants him to curl his fingers and make her see stars.

"Ah."

And he does.

His eyes are dark but they fucking burn and some sick part of her wants him to squeeze until she's dead.

Part of her wants him to kill her and get it out of the way because she's always been the type of girl who likes to think they're facing their fears.

But choking to death kind of sucks so while he's fucking her hard enough to hurt she's bucking up and scratching lines down his face while his fingers cinch her windpipe shut.

She pinches at the tender spot between ear and jaw and he almost snarls and her cunt seizes, quivers, because she's always kind of like being scared.

When her vision starts tunneling and spots explode all through the encroaching blackness of impending unconsciousness he lets go and she trembles through an orgasm that's just about melted bones and electric currents.

He stops to watch.

She coughs and sucks on greedy mouthfuls of air that smell like sex and taste like sweat.

"Tate..."

His name is little more than a throaty croak.

He leans into the fingers tracing his cheekbone. She smoothes her heels down his calves and urges him forward.

"Come on," she coos, murmuring with a kiss under his ear at the spot she's pinched.

He breathes ragged.

"Vee."

"Fuck me."

He already is but the goad makes him move faster, more jerky and desperate in the way boy get desperate to come, the way that makes them look like dying baby animals.

"Fill me up again, Tate."

He lets out a broken sob on her neck and spills inside of her. Warm and deep.

When they haul themselves off of each other and lay side by side staring at the water stained ceiling they find the spaces between the others fingers and weave in their own. It's the only form of intertwining they can handle when their hearts are still hammering against their ribs and their blood runs hot enough to scorch.

"Hurts?"

She's stroking the crusted red of the lines she'd raked down his cheek. He holds her fingers and kisses the tips.

"No."

She takes in his features as she comes down from her post coital high, eventually turning over onto her side away from his body heat.

"You're the only one."

She murmurs into the pillow while she shakes her head and sighs.

"I don't..," his voice cracks and she hopes he isn't going to cry "I'm..."

"You don't deserve it," she supplies.

"Violet."

"I love you, but you don't deserve it."

"I shouldn't."

Because he isn't sorry, but she doesn't care much about that anymore anyway.

He kisses her spine and then curls a palm over her shoulder and she lets him drag her back against his chest because she wants it regardless of whether he deserves it.

"No more sessions with my dad."

She can feel him nod against her neck.

"..."

"Do you regret this?"

She doesn't.

"I hate them more than I hate this. I wanted this. You. I don't want them anymore."

"But you still hate this."

"I never wanted to die. I wanted you to be alive."

"I'm sorry."

"I know."

"..."

"But you would have killed me anyway. I realized that the night we tried to leave."

Against her shoulder is the hot prick of wetness off his eyelashes.

"That's why I let you take my virginity that night."

She wants to cry too.

"Because I thought if I gave it to you it'd be enough for you to let me go for awhile if I promised I'd come back. But I don't know if I would have."

When she turns, it's to shame spread across his face.

"So don't be sad. You got what you wanted."

"I want to make you happy."

"I am right now."

She smiles as if it proves something or affirms the words coming from her mouth.

"I want it for you always."

"I don't want you to be my lapdog. I just want you to be mine."

But he always has been.


PART III:

The more one sees of human fate and the more one examines its secret springs of action, the more one is impressed by the strength of unconscious motives and by the limitations of free choice.

Watching her now is like watching her as she was years and years ago when she was sitting at a desk in the classroom that always sent him home with the scent of dry erase markers and rug deodorizer lodged in his pores.

She reminded him of a time and not so much a person or anything else. A time when He and Vivien were thrown together in a sterile classroom setting.

He and Hayden's classroom relationship was anything but sterile.

Now that he doesn't loathe his marriage and now that Vivien's disposition is more honeymoon lover than soon to be ex-wife he sees all the things about the woman, more girl than woman now that he's really looking at her, that he temporarily replaced his wife with during her physical and emotional lockdown.

Hayden is pensive, remote even, when she sits alone in the gazebo he erected. A memorial to her unfound bones. He wonders if the baby was something she loved. He decides she would have been a good mother had she been older when it happened. She should have finished school. She should have started her own practice.

But she decided that fucking him was more important. Stupid girl. Now all there is for her to do is bide her time with haphazard fucking and silent introspection of her poor life choices in the grave marker put up by a lover who is no longer her lover.

It's tragic. But the house is full of tragic things.

He's turning to go back into the house when he sees the monster with the face of a boy kiss his daughter.

He wonders when she turned into such a monster herself.

Wonders if it was something from his and her mother's nature blended together that made her that way or if it was Tate's nurture that became as much of a coffin nail as her cigarettes or razorblades were.


She has the homecare nurse read her one of the old letters from the cowardly Lawrence. It's one from the time of their lives when he was still married to his unfortunate looking wife whose name escapes her now.

It's florid by her standards but not particularly creative.

The stupid son of a bitch next door makes eyes at his little whore. Men always have their whores.

Michael made one of her last nurse.

If the same happens again with the new one she'll have to settle on one who's not interested in boys, despite her own aversion to ithose/i sort of women.

The letter is full of doleful little similes that only a man as boring as Lawrence could come up with and despite what the silly man must have thought quoting Shakespeare is not as tried and true of a method of getting under a lady's skirt.

Poets are a waste she's decided.

Weak men are useless.

Her Michael is neither.

She wants a cigarette but her nurse says she can't smoke next to the oxygen tank. She supposes it's for the best unless she wants to end up burnt up like Lawrence. There's time for another letter before it gets too dark out and the bugs start to swarm around the porch light.

Her nurse pulls open a hat box of what she had been told was old love letters kept by an old woman who used to be beautiful and cruel and sad who is now just tired and very, very old

But there's not letters in the box.

Just a dried construction paper crafted flower with 'MAMA' inscribed on it.

There's a poem underneath written in child's scrawl.


Anyone upstairs can hear them. He wonders if that's the point. Mostly it's the off and on bang of the headboard every so often and sometimes it's the wet echoing slap of skin and very rarely there's a moan or a gasp.

He drains his third glass of a supermarket red.

It's an awful fruity wine that tastes as sticky as it looks. He'll have a sour stomach by the end of the night.

Pat sits across the kitchen island not speaking to him again. Sometimes even his stony silences are better than his absences.

"Were we ever like that? I can't remember."

Pat smiles because he knows he's drunk.

But he obligingly answers all the same.

"Louder."

"I saw that old bitch today."

"Thank god she can't walk anymore."

"Small favors."

"Do you think she really forgave him?"

"Hating someone for a long time makes you tired, Pat."

There's a hand lying open on the counter. A parlay of sorts he supposes. He curls his fingers around the stemware and pours another glass instead.


He's been able to see them since he was born.

Now he sits on the back stoop with his economics textbook or whatever book they're reading that semester in British literature.

Sometimes he isn't alone on stoop. If his mother's particularly edgy he gives her a Xanax cocktail and smokes cigarettes with her nurse.

She does her paperwork while he tries to keep track of who's fucking who and who's killing who next door.

Sometimes he sees a woman who he thinks he's seen before but can't place. Like a dream of a mother he may have had once.

He sees a boy who could be his brother and a small fragile girl kiss in shade of the house during the blue dusk of early evening.

He wonders what his mother's pretty nurse would say if he offered to show her the house, he thinks she'd probably take the gore in stride because she has enough gruesome stories to share about her other job at the hospital to write a book, to keep him enthusiastically rapt with the way her mouth forms words laypersons would have to look up.

He wonders what would happen if she hit her head on the rocks on the other side of the property line.

He wonders what her hair would look like with blood in it.

She's too pretty to get old anyway.

He thinks he may be in love and it'd be awful to fall out of it just because one day her face and body would sag.

But it doesn't have to.


A/N: I'm writing a few things right now including the fourth chapter of 'The Westfield 15' and the second chapter of 'Limerence' on top of that I'm working on two oneshots don't know when anything will come out but I start school soon which for most people means less time to write fic but since I am not going to be working on the days I go to school it actually means more time to write fic.