Author: grayglube

Title: Call of the Void

Summary: This is how they fall in love, for real, this time.

Rating: M

Warning(s)/Kinks: Language, sexual situations, drug use, triggery language related to rape, femslash, offensive language related to homosexuality.

Disclaimer: I don't own American Horror Story.

A/N: So this is part two. This is where Jandy will find out what the second pairing I planned to have in this is. I wanted unexpected pairings. Like the Violet/Patrick friendship and the Violet/Moira femslash pairing.


II.

She yawns like a door that's been closed for a hundred years opens, a muted thing that looks deafening, plumes of smoke that look like dust pouring out from around her teeth.

They're at the point where if they see the other they stop and then quickly move out of the other's orbit, but it's better than just disappearing he supposes.

He's looking at her slender legs, pale and looking longer than they are with the ragged hem of a too long t-shirt brushing the skin inches above her knees.

There's sleep crust in her eyelashes and she wipes at it frantically, blinking away the blurriness.

"You look good when you're tired."

Her hair is a wild mess of pushed down and pushed up strands, tangles and clusters, there a raw red stripe on her bottom lip from where she'd peeled off a chapped bit with her teeth, her tongue presses against it and she deadpans Robert Graves, "As Earth stirs in her winter sleep and puts out grass and flowers despite the snow, despite the falling snow."

He wants to take a step towards her, another one further into the kitchen from where's he's standing at the back door, wants to keep taking steps, back her up into the pantry, knock the door closed and tumble onto the first cushioned service with her.

He wants to feel the hot insides of her plush thighs on his hips and feel her tongue slide against his slow, wet. Run his hand over the slope of her bare shoulders where the shirt sags, loose and unobtrusive.

All he does is swallow and look up from staring at her toes, small, girlish, painted sticky candy red, thinking about kissing them, how they'd feel on his lips, all he does is say, "You can't leave it hanging like that."

"Yes, I can." And then tacking on, "Fuck you," she turns, twisting on one dainty ankle and padded along down the hall, the floorboards creaking under her weight as she goes.

He's grinding his teeth and breathing out harsh and fast through his nostrils trying to not give in and follow her, catch up, grab her by her sleep mussed hair and bang her temple into the wall, the furniture, the floor.


Patrick can tell she's forgiving her axe-happy estranged lover boy. He saw the same thing with Chad, still does sometimes. There's rationalization and the finger pointing at her reflection instead of at the boy she's still desperately trying to hold onto some hate for.

"It was a coin toss. I'm a three on the sorting algorithm of mortality," she says talking about her own death, Patrick just nods and tries to not say something she'll squawk over, because she's a girl and they do love squawking, like drag queens wearing Tropicana headdresses.


The old owners put the house on the market once their golden girl goes away to college. They've got glossy pictures of pricey condos strewn across the coffee table in the living room and then the floor when they shove the table to increase usable carpeted floor space.

Middle-age mixed with an increase in libido since their kid has been packed up and shipped off to whatever out of state school with reasonable dorm process and low alcohol related death statistics is not something he needs or wants to see the result of. It's depressing to watch other people fuck.

Houses with homicide history are back in vogue, Caspar's cool again and people like houses with soul(s).


Sometimes she gets violently ill. It happens.

It happens to them all. Sometimes her mom starts bleeding out from Placentea Abrupto, or Charles' temple collapses and his brains leak out down the side of his face, Patrick doubles over from the pain of a perforated colon and needs to find another pair of pants.

And Tate of course drowns on dry land, lungs slowly filling up with blood and makes a mess.

She thinks that one day when she really loves him, she'll know. She'll know because instead of stepping back she'll kneel down into his blood puddle and watch him come around again before leaving or maybe not leave. Maybe she'll let him fuck her in it; the idea does get her a little hot when she stops to consider it.

To be fair though he doesn't stick around when he finds her vomiting uncontrollably, half-delirious and sweating profusely either.


She can see what he's offering, and, she sees why they say yes. With him everything is fragile and sweet and feels good. She can see other things too, when it comes to him, her brother who looks like an old lover, when he passes by a window like a shadow instead of a boy, or how his reflection in the glossy metal of a kitchen appliance is bigger, taller, darker, the smell that leaks out of him, not fire, not brimstone, it's dirt and lilies, he smells like a funeral.


She's cute. With a cute little upturned nose and a cute little head of spring back curls from a mother whose a past beauty queen with hopes of her daughter continuing the legacy and a three-hundred dollar beauty salon perm.

Her name is cute too, single syllable simple. Jill.

You can hear her practicing her wind instrument from the far end of the backyard. Constance's dog bark and yap happily, and Michael looks over at the house from behind the shrubs.


She brushed against him, barest pressure, all from her loose clothes and layers on top of layers, like grass against more grass in gentle wind.

He wanted to reach out and grab her hand, pull her back and smile.

Have her grin that shit-eating smile of hers back.

Longing.

It's the crux of their entire relationship.

Unresolved.


They go to the same school, they see each other when his normal teacher takes her class for Math and her's teacher takes his class for Science, on field trips, and in the small cafeteria they've gotten sick of. Mostly he comes over when Constance gets tired of him, or is hopelessly inebriated. He leaves under the guise of walking the dogs or just not going home when school ends, walking in her back door instead.

She likes the little dogs he has with him, they sleep on top of her feet while they do their homework at the kitchen table or chew on the chair cushions. Her mother doesn't really like that but she thinks Michael is a good boy. A positive boy. A good influence.

But the little girl who's just growing out of grade school knows he isn't, but she doesn't mind because Violet can tell that she's not a nice girl despite her big eyes and curls, gentle face and delicate hands.

"Mikey! You can't do it like that! It's gonna look like a weird turd."

"They're just eggs."

"Jesus eggs."

He glances up with a grin and a peek of bright white enamel, "Blasphemer."

She giggles, "Ooooh, big words. That one in your vocabulary book this week?"

"The most holy of vocabulary books."

Constance makes him read the Bible, copy out pages as punishment for when he's been bad.

"Ugh, you're grams is so fucking weird."

He looks up at the profanity, she glances back, bashful like she's been waiting to try out curse words for awhile.

"Yeah. That one looks nice."

"Want me to paint the Virgin Mary on it so you can give it to grandma? Maybe she'll take pity on you."

"For what?"

"For what happened today."

Any number of things could have happened Violet knows but she's betting on something only mildly reprehensible for the way both little kids smile at each other. Michael sighs, "School probably already called. I'll be writing pages until my fingers bleed."

"Gruesome. You could finger paint your egg then," she says. Michael rolls his eyes,"Sinister: Threatening or portending evil, harm, or trouble; ominous. Girls named Jill."

"That's in the next vocab unit, for next week. Stop reading ahead smarty pants. Portending? Is that even a word?"

"To bring in, herald."

The phone in the hallway rings. Jill's mother answers, cradling the phone between her cheek and her shoulder greeting Constance on the other line.

Michael wilts visibly and Jill brightens, "Oh, the sound of the phone ringing portends your doomed and miserable fate."

"And then?"

"Death."

"Michael! You're grandmother is on the phone, she'd like to talk to you."

"If my ears start bleeding bring a canvas, we can call it 'woe of the child'."

"You're so dramatic."


His sneakers are muddy and his windbreaker has raindrops rolling off it. There's another boy with him who shoves him. Michael laughs. The other boy has been around, with Michael and Jill. But every so often he comes over to see Jill and Michael is not invited. It's innocent and they're fifteen but Violet was fifteen when she first moved into the house. She remembers what it was like to be alive and fifteen. Michael and the other boy go inside his house, Constance is out on a trip to gamble for two days and a night. Violet doesn't see the boy get picked up that night, she doesn't see him leave on his own, she doesn't see him get on the bus the next morning with Michael Langdon. The boy never comes back out of the house next door. Sometimes she wonders what happened to him.


Jill looks smaller than she actually is, Violet realizes this when she's trying on a pair of stockings from the girl's underwear drawer, they're too long and are baggy on her ass.

The bras are bigger too.

Violet slams the drawer shut wishing for once someone her own size would move into the house.

Sometime when she feels masochistic she watches Jill get dressed or put on her make-up or brush her hair. Such routine things being carried out like some ritual that means something more.

The living girl does all her self-care activities with some wistful, glee etched onto the shape of her lips, the apples of her cheeks, like the whole thing is a hobby she secretly enjoys.

Violet tries to emulate it one day when she goes away on an overnight field trip to some music competition where she's first seat clarinet.

Lipstick rubs off on her fingers when she smokes and losses its appeal.

"Her mother's coming up to put laundry away."

She looks back at his reflection in the vanity mirror and promptly makes herself scarce and relocates.


They have a conversation over the space of a few carefully space long silences and about two and a half cigarettes, chain smoked without pause on her part and a few bouts of bluster along a string of some very ugly words on his.

"You know if you had let me kill that kid I would have hurt him after he was dead if it ever turned out you really decided to do it with him."

"Do it? Yeah, really? Just say it. If I ever wanted to really fuck someone you'd kill them, right? That's what you mean?"

"Yes."

"Is that because in your world view we still end up at some point fucking each other?"

"…"

"Well? Go ahead. Tell me. I wanna know. How do you picture it? Is it because I'm just so angry at you I need to fuck you to get across to you my anger? Is it because I'm lonely, because I miss you, because I just can't handle it anymore and need your dick to make me feel better?"

"I'd just find you while you're sleeping and rape you, if all I cared about was fucking you."

"…"

"No, really. I don't think it'd be that hard actually. 'Go ahead. Tell me.' Fine. I know where you sleep. At first you'd think you'd be able to stop me but you'd tire yourself out trying and I wonder what it'd be like to be so worn down you can't even stop me from taking off your clothes like that, one thing at a time and then it's not just about fighting me because you're naked and you wouldn't want me to see you naked because you hate me, and when you'd finally realize that I'm actually going to be in you, you'd scream, because it scares you, not being in control, and it'd probably be worse than anything I ever did to anyone.

And all that self-important, self-righteous bullshit about needing to know the real me would just be biting you in the ass at that point while you're crying because I actually went and proved you right and fucked you just because I could, because I wanted to and didn't give a shit what you wanted, that I crossed some line that doesn't exist because we're dead that you think still applies, that if I did it once I could do it again, and it'd turn out not to be as sweet as you thought it was, knowing everything about me.

Because the truth is that I've thought about it, jerked off thinking about it, but I haven't done anything. Have I?"

"That it? You got more to say? Go ahead. Get it out; maybe it will make you feel better."

"Okay, Doctor Harmon Junior. I've thought about coming around when you're high."

"…"

"Laudanum knocks you on your ass, feels like a dream. Maybe I'd show up then, and maybe you'd be in to it. Probably not, but maybe. You'd beg me for it, even if you didn't I'd make you and then when you wake up and I'm not there but you're still all sticky and sore from it, from everything you'd ask me to do, you'd feel as fucking disgusted with yourself as I did after I put that suit on and climbed on top of your mom."

"…"

"It was going to be you, the first time I saw you. Your mom was pretty frigid towards your dad and it didn't seem like they'd be making babies that I could steal and smother for Nora. I almost didn't even do it. Almost couldn't, because with you it would have taken a long time to get in your pants, or if I just snuck into your room and played mystery rapist the first thing police do is go through who has access to the house and then it'd turn out that your dad has a dead guy for a patient, too much mess.

But then there was the suit and the house turning your dad into a brain dead zombie at night and your mom started working things out with him. And I felt bad about it, before I even did it. I felt bad because she's your mom, so I talked to you and decided the least I could do would be to try and make up for it even though you didn't know about it by helping you out with that bitch from school, and saving you from those assholes that tried to drown you even though you told me you never wanted to see me again, even though I was angry, even though it was only your mom and her dumb babies I really needed to make sure stayed alive."

"You could have let me die, would have been stuck here."

"I wasn't in love with you then."

"When did you fall in love with me, Tate?"

"You don't believe that I love you?"

"I think you're stupid for thinking that that's what you felt, if it is for real…then it is, but if you're going to give me a sad little boy spiel about love I'd rather not talk to you at all."

"It was when you're dad almost caught us talking outside. You thought I was hiding in the bushes but really he just couldn't see me. I told you he was a good dad and that you were lucky and you just leaned in and let me light you cigarette without a word. Like my opinion didn't really matter.

They say you go for someone who's like your mom or your dad, and you and Constance have the 'I don't give a shit about your opinion' thing down pretty well. I would never do those things to you and even when you hate me now I would never let anyone do something like that to you. You never have to worry about anyone doing anything like that to you ever. But it's still you and me, Vee. Us. Nobody else. Even if you'd want somebody else. Not now, not after that."

"And what's 'that'?"

"Halloween."

"You can't protect me from everything, that fucking thing that killed my mother could come around to. That thing you put inside of her could fucking do that. And it'd be all your fault."

"…"

"And if he did you'd probably feel a lot like my dad did when he found out about you raping my mother."

"I would cut off parts of myself if that's what it would take to protect you, I'd kill anyone for you, anytime. To make up for everything I've done."

"Just remember that."

"Do you forgive me or not?"

"Just because everything you ever did and lied about or didn't tell me isn't the first and last thing I think about when I'm conscious anymore does not mean I forgive you and it doesn't mean I don't forgive you. It doesn't matter anymore. I don't trust you. I don't believe you, or the things you say or the things you promise me."

"Then how do I prove it?"

"Kinda can't, I guess. That blows."

"Is this a punishment? For that night, for not making you go away?"

"Stop talking about it or I'll make you go away. If the world was going to end and this is the way things are when it happens and I never talked to you like I used to or kissed you or touched you again, right now at this moment that's okay with me. If I was facing nonexistence a minute from now I wouldn't regret us the way we are now. That's what this is. That's how I feel about you."

"That's how you feel about us."

"Semantics, Tate."

"No. It's not."

"You miss me, you just don't want to be around me. You want me to come around when you want me to and leave when you say and be your pet. I don't even mind that much."

"Don't you get tired of this? Bullshitting? I see it sometimes, the real parts of you. So, don't you think we're a little past this?"

"I don't want to see you cry, it makes me tired and it's annoying. I've been here long enough haven't I? To figure out that you were just playing some game when I was still alive because you were lonely, and I was available and liked you."

"I wasn't playing a game."

"There's a game when you pretend to be somebody else isn't there? You were, don't lie about it now. What's the point?"

"Believe it or not you putting your dick in my mom while pretending to be my dad so she would get pregnant and you could steal her baby and kill it so some ghost who doesn't even remember she's dead most of the time and is a terrible mother could have a baby that was less of a monster than the one she caused to get kidnapped, cut up, and then mashed together Frankenstein style by her drug addicted husband inhabiting the basement is, is not the thing that bothers me the most."

"You are not some misunderstood kid, you're not this tortured soul, we were never this Romeo and Juliet scenario you fed me some lines about and I was just your replacement for Nora. And you thought I'd never know because in your head you think you're better than me and smarter and you are just a stupid fucking shithead and I was just really fucking dumb and lonely and you made me play your stupid game and I guess you won because you fucked me and I let you and you lied to me and I didn't even really put up much of a fight to find out the truth. But I'm not going to play your stupid games and I'm not going to talk to you if you're gonna pretend to not know the difference between right and wrong or play the 'I don't remember, I don't know, why would I do that,' card, because you're full of shit and talking to you at all makes me want to throw up on myself anyway so talking to you while you pretend not to be at fault for anything makes me want to throw myself off the roof just so I won't have to listen to you and you're fake crying act again."

"How old are we now? We really gonna do this for the rest of eternity, you really gonna try to convince me you're sorry and that you're really not a bad person? Come on. Go fuck yourself, asshole."

"You sound like you dad."

She could say that his flippancy is just his armor against her analysis of him but it'd be a waste of breath she doesn't need to breathe.


She kisses him. It's her party. She can do what she wants. Violet scoffs and observes from a far enough distance away that it makes no difference that the orange glow of her cigarette is visible, it's not like either of them will notice it.

Michael smiles back and picks up her hand, swinging it back and forth before leaning in to peck her lips with his.

"Happy Birthday."

"Where's my present?"

"That was it."

"Don't be mean to me. Present." Little Jill holds out her palms waiting to receive her token for another year of breathing. Michael wraps a big hand around her small wrist and tugs while turning, "Come on."

Jill twists away and sways a little with a girlish smile. I'm not going anywhere if it means walking across your backyard, I know it's been like a week since you pooper scooped.

"Brat. I'll be right back."

He disappears beyond the hedges and returns with a flat rectangle wrapped in gaudy little girl wrapping paper that Jill snickers at. She tears off the shiny paper with flourish and the scraps fly back from her fingers like birds in flight."Woah."

"It's you."

"Well thank gawd I thought it was my evil twin or something."

"You like it?"

"Red really is my color."

"Yeah, absolutely."

Later when Jill's asleep and the portrait hangs on the wall across from her bed Violet is stuck still in front of it. Red. It's blood and water. Or tears if Michael is sentimental. She wonders if it's his blood or someone else's, wonder if he's ever had to kill someone for the girl her loves.


He can see it on Michael's face. He knows. Michael looks at the girl like he wants to say she's beautiful and wonderful and is everything he ever wanted, like she deserves only good things and gifts and flowers and music and love.

But Tate also knows his son won't say it because he's not any of those things, he's not good or wonderful, he's not full of music and love and he's not the type of boy who picks flowers for the girl he loves.

He'll give her someone's head, make someone who's hurt her scream, paint her a portrait from tapping his own vein, but he won't write her poetry or promise to love her forever.


"What's changed?"

"Nothing."

"You've changed."

"Wish I didn't. It was nice hating you, nice not wanting to be around you."

She sets up the board, his side too.

"But you can't do anything about things like that; everything gets replaced with other things," she looks up and says when she's finished.

"Like what?"

He places himself on the other side of the black and white and waits for her move.

"I'm scared."

"Of what?"

"He's going to kill her."

"He won't."

"There's nothing I can do. Nothing you can do. It's going to happen. Gonna happen just like me winning happens. I know right away."

"What about us?"

"What about us?"

"…"

"I may have gotten over it but now it's just going to be that much easier to hate you when you fuck up again."

"I won't."

"Maybe I will."

He wonders if that's what he should be worried about.


She fit inside her like a Russian nestling doll and it was undeniably vulnerable feeling in some odd way because while the shell is what gets cracked on the edge of a bowl it's the yolk that gets eaten and she was left feeling like an unfertilized chicken embryo about to be served over easy with a sprinkling of pepper and some parsley garnish.

And she was so forcefully pushed out that both she and the other girl both stumbled in opposite directions of the hallway.

She's gone when Jill turns around, afraid and confused looking for something that she isn't going to find.

Shaking from the experience Violet smokes outside and ruminates on her latest discovery about ghostly abilities.


She can't really feel what's going on.

But the principle is just about the same as watching it happen except that's not right either.

She can feel it, just not in the way she'd been hoping.

It feels like for awhile that she's less real than she already is, she's just a disembodied spook show voice in the back of someone's head while their high on something good and feeling good. But, there's a connection and an overlap that she slips under like a body lost in a rip current. She's not riding along in the backseat anymore during the ride, she's being thrown out the windshield and out onto the road being run over by the car. It doesn't quite feel like an orgasm, what she's having, but its close enough, but maybe not close enough to count.

And the sound Michael makes is enough to make it worth it. It's been awhile since she heard a boy come.

She's slipping out of Jill, whose a little is too far gone to notice she was even there to begin with.

Violet had been hoping sex possession would be a bit more exciting and kill all her own urges for something more fulfilling than her own fingers, but it hasn't.

In the hallway she runs into Tate, taking a step back to avoid him. He looks stricken, scared. It makes her angry, him listening at the door to people having sex with each other.

"Don't worry, he's fucking his girlfriend." Or just about, but Tate doesn't need to know the rest of the story. Despite everything that's happened between them she no longer looks for reasons to take him down a notch like she used to with the things she does or doesn't do.

Still, he's so pale. The idea of her just watching other people fuck enough to make him nauseous.

He opens his mouth but she's half-way gone to some other place and doesn't catch what he says.


She's got her eye on the house across the street. There's a hornet buzzing around, just passing through, it's a blur that makes her eye water and she pulls away blinking back the strain.

"What are you doing?"

"People watching."

She puts her eye back when the hornet flies out the open window, catching itself in the gauze white of the curtains on the way out.

"You're a creepy voyeur."

"I won't let you peek if you act like that," she mumbles shifting the telescope to look down into the street at the two girls swinging backpacks and cackling loudly at something funny they're talking about.

"Let me?"

She grunts noncommittally and Patrick nudged her but his increased stature makes it feel more like a shove and she stumbles back, banging into the mattress of the master bed while Patrick tries to find a view that's more appealing, like a teenage boy in the throes of sexual ecstasy in his uncurtained bedroom.

"Hey!"

"Too bad, baby sister."

Violet flops back onto the bed, "Ugh."

"I did have one you know."

"A sister?"

Patrick turns back to her "Yeah. But she's older, she's a fucking asshole."

"Yeah?" She questions thinking of how if her family had never died she'd have been the asshole older sister, eventually.

She's back at the telescope, "God, why don't people have curtains?"

"Don't jinx it."

"I watched some of your gay porn."

"What? When?"

"The other day. It's up in the attic."

"Thought it got tossed."

"Tate hid it."

"…"

The silence says a lot with the look Patrick gives her. She sighs, "He's not gay."

"I didn't say anything."

"Okay."

She's gone looking for treasure in the chest of drawers on the opposite side of the room.

"Can I ask you a question?"

"Not about him."

"Nevermind."

There's more silence. It's stings like hornets in her mouth, "What about him?"

"…"

"Yeah, go ahead ask."

"Is he fucked up all the time?"

"Like crazy?"

Patrick looks straight ahead at the wall and she shouldn't have told him to ask his no doubt awful question about her and Tate, shouldn't have asked him to clarify the question further.

"I meant like is he fucked up like…you know…, sex."

"…"

Sex.

That's all everyone talks about besides pain and angst and what the living are doing.

"Nevermind, sorry. I just, I don't know, saw you talking to him and, yeah, I know that has nothing to do with the question. Sorry. Forget it."

But she can't, not when it's been brought up.

"I don't mind talking to you, but I wouldn't really care if we didn't. You feel the same way right?"

"Yeah, absolutely," Patrick asserts, like the threat that she's not going to talk to him anymore isn't as horrible to him as it would be to her.

"Well, then if this offends you. I don't really care that he killed you or anyone. Even what he did to my mom I can justify because that's just what you do when you have to know, and think about it even if you don't want to. And yes, the idea of his dick in me makes eating my own vomit out of a cereal bowl a more appealing reality. But he lied, he pretended and because of that I did things that I wouldn't have done if he hadn't lied. I said things that I don't know I would have said if he wasn't who he made he think he was. And they were things I did and said that when I do them or say them now they seem less meaningful, because he ruined them."

Patrick's got a face like a Halloween mask of it, flat affect, a little sad even, "Hey…I didn't mean…"

She knows he didn't mean to bum her out so much she's itching for the oblivion a razor blade in the bathtub would offer her, she knows he didn't mean to make her think about Tate and how gentle he was with her, cautious and careful, making her cum, making her say his name the way girls only do when a boy inside of them, falling in love and forgetting that they have to breathe.

"Yeah. I know. But, no. He's not some weird sex fiend or anything, I don't know maybe he is and I just don't know. Right?"

He'd trace her lip with his thumb; ring warm against her chin, his eyelashes would brush her cheek while he'd bleat out a groan in her ear.

"Yeah."

"You ever watch guys walk down the street and wonder what it'd be like if they were your boyfriend."

"Or how good of a fuck they'd be? Yeah."

"That too."

"It's alright you know."

"Talking to Tate?"

"Yeah."

"He's not pretending anymore."

"I guess it makes a difference."

"I don't know what I'm trying to do," she sighs.

"Are you trying to do something? He'd still fuck you, if you asked him. He's a guy."

"It's not like that. It's like before, wanting to know who he was. But, he ruined it. I don't want to know anything about him."

Taint. He wrote it on the chalkboard and proceeded to do just that to everything she thought they had, that they made, that they did.

"But you do."

"Yeah. Exactly."

She knows he's a liar.

"I know."

The older man gets it because he used to play that role in his own relationship, the Liar.

"I'm sorry I threw your wedding ring in the furnace."

"Sorry I planned to steal and murder your little brothers to make Chad happy."

Violet grins.


He watches his son pack up his car, watches him light up a rolled cigarillo that's flavored something sweet, no doubt. Michael's got one arm out the window and the cherry glows bright orange in the thirty slow drifting minutes before dawn.

The girl is dead. Face down in the swimming pool with a belly full of pills, obvious irony there. The father-son talks really paid off, Tate scowls and scrubs at his face for retelling the tale of his own girl's not-so-sweet entrapment in a not-so-gilded cage.

Michael rolls out of the driveway on schedule to make it upstate in time to move in his dorm room.

Tate watches him rattle away on a cold engine down the street, turn slowly at the end of the street and cruise up to the gates that Tate's standing behind.

"Wanted to say goodbye. To you." But he's not looking at Tate.

Jill is standing at the bottom of the steps to the front entry.

"It was so…"

"Perfect," Tate supplies. Michael looks up smiling.

"And it is. At first."

"What about later?"

Tate doesn't know about later, he's still waiting for it.

"Guess we'll both have to wait."

Michael sighs and his eyes gleam. Glow in the dark like the reflection of the end of lit cigarillo. It isn't the cigarillo. It's crematorium ash glow and the smell of a wake. He puts on sunglasses over it."

"Bye, Dad."


A/N: I was going to go a bit further with the Michael subplot in this but ehh things happen. One last part after this.