A/N: I'M BACK! And…I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON! I am so, so sorry I left you guys hanging for so long! Real life has been eating up ALL of my time! I went to Hawaii last week and work has been an absolute hell storm and this is the first time I have had to sit down and write. The characters have been hammering away at my head, demanding to be written and I just couldn't put them off any longer! Plus I missed you guys too much. Thank you so much to: my darling jandjsalmon, IDLETEEN, Rock The Rain, Sarah v, Trish, AHS3, shtyeh, Ahhh, Pechkapesh, MyMyMaia, and a couple of Anons for your inspiring, fantastic reviews. Here is the Tate POV, hope you like it!
Tate slipped out into the perpetual sunshine, taking care not to call attention to himself. He was cutting sixth period and the campus rent-a-cop had come to enjoy catching Tate and hauling him to the principal's office.
Or enjoyed trying.
There was no one in sight as he casually walked off of school grounds. If you appeared as if you were supposed to be doing something or supposed to be somewhere, people rarely looked twice. The plan was running through his head like a film and his palms began to sweat in excited anticipation.
Once he was a block from school, Tate extracted a pre-rolled joint from behind his ear. His hair was so long now that it could conceal something as small as a joint. Maybe he wouldn't cut it quite yet.
The marijuana smoke filled his mouth and nose, bringing with it memories from the night before.
He hadn't known what had driven him across the street and underneath Violet's window. Something had called to him. He had been sitting in his room, per usual, listening to too-loud music, per usual. Brooding, per usual. He had come home to discover Larry and Constance making out in the kitchen.
The scene alone was utterly revolting, but when he had slammed the door to announce his presence, his mother had lain into him.
"What in God's good name did you tell Doctor Harmon?" Constance had demanded. Larry had beat a hasty retreat at the sound of her tone. Tate followed Larry with his eyes until he was out of the room, picturing what the combination of his shotgun and .45 would do to the man's balding head. The image made him smile.
"Do you think this is funny?" Constance said, her voice rising dangerously. Tate's smile vanished and he looked sidelong at her. Her hair was in its typical style, short and Southern belle blonde, teased up. Her makeup did a decent job of hiding her wrinkles but Tate could see through the façade. If only she was as ugly on the outside as she was on the inside.
But life was never that fair.
Her piercing eyes held him and he turned to face her fully, still holding his tongue.
Nothing drove her crazy like the silent treatment.
"Answer me!" she shouted, her voice ringing off of the pristine surfaces of the kitchen. Doctor Harmon must have called, then. Tate wondered idly what he had said. A small part of him was still hurt, still seething at what had gone down in Violet's room.
But most of him was pissed. Pissed and amused.
"I told him that I wanted to murder my peers and fuck his daughter," Tate said casually, walking over to the fridge. He turned his back on Constance, a dangerous action, and pretended to peruse the refrigerator, trying to ignore the anticipatory tension in his shoulders.
Sure enough a sharp smack to the back of the head made him whip around only to receive a stinging slap across the cheek.
"Don't you use that foul language in this house you little punk," Constance said, voice low, close enough that Tate could feel the angry heat radiating off of her and see the color rising to her prominent cheeks.
Unconsciously he brought a hand up to touch the place where she had slapped him. He didn't wince though. Her slaps were common enough that he hardly registered them anymore.
Constance continued, "I smoothed things over with the doctor, told him that yes, you are very troubled but are a sweet boy, would never hurt a fly. He didn't want to see you again but I got you another hour with him. You go back there for your next session and you convince him that you are harmless. Charm him like I know you can do so well. And," she jabbed him in the chest with one manicured finger, "stay away from that girl. Do you understand me, Tate?"
Tate met his mother's eyes, holding back the glare that lay just under the surface. It was no wonder he was the way he was.
He had come from her.
Tate cleared his face of emotion and let his most lazy, charming smile spread over his mouth, never touching his eyes. "Yes ma'am."
Constance narrowed her eyes at him even more, they were just glinting slits of anger on her face but Tate could sense that he was now free to go.
So go he did.
Hence, he ended up in his room, on his bed, brooding. He hadn't looked at his guns in the past week and considered them from afar from where he now lay. Not long ago his guns had been all he had thought about. Well, besides what he would do with them. Every day he would rush home from school and lock his door behind him, falling to his knees and taking out the carefully wrapped bundles. It was his ritual.
The voices laced through his head, whispering, taunting, teasing. He closed his eyes and tried to focus on the music but it didn't help. Unable to control himself he slid off of the bed and felt around for the familiar bundles, finding them and lifting them onto his bed. He uncovered his favorite shotgun and ran one finger down its cold, sleek barrel. The shiver of pleasure that he usually received at mere contact with the weapon was not there. Instead it was replaced with apprehension.
Blood and pain and freedom, a voice whispered.
End their miserable, pathetic, meaningless lives. Save them from themselves.
Suddenly, Violet's face floated before his eyes. The image flickered and changed to one with her body riddled with bullet wounds, a stream of blood flowing from her mouth, lips parted in a silent scream and then flickered back to her as he had first seen her, bathed in California sunlight, curious yet dark. The juxtaposition of the images continued before his closed eyes and more brutal images were added on top of it. Every now and then a brief flicker of her smile, how it would feel to touch her lips with his, their fingers entwined. Their bodies entwined.
When Tate came to it was dark outside.
He shook his head and took stock of himself. He was seated on his bed with the shotgun across his lap, barrel broken and one shell loaded. A strange sort of panic swept through him then and he hurriedly packed the weapons back into their hiding place. Just as he was righting himself another strange sensation came over him and his eyes flicked over to his window.
He drew aside the curtains and peered out across the road to her house. There was a light on in her bedroom window and every now and then he thought he saw a shadow move behind the illuminated curtain.
Before he knew what he was doing, he was hitting the ground with a thud. The air had cooled somewhat so his sweater was finally practical. The street was deserted and he approached her house. He could hear the rattle of dishes in the sink and saw the light red hair of Violet's mother bobbing around the kitchen. Mr. Harmon was nowhere to be seen. Tate slunk underneath the window where the mother was until he was below Violet's window.
The soft orange and purple light called to him. He had to see her. He stooped and felt around in the dark for small projectiles to throw at the window, hoping her music wasn't too loud to hear. Finally he gathered enough, taking careful aim he tossed a small rock at the window. He heard it click against the glass and land somewhere in the bushes in front of him. He waited, listening hard. There was a very convenient lattice work running up the wall to her window and he thought out the path that she could use to come down. Or he could use to go up.
He threw another pebble, this time a little harder. Still nothing.
One more and he would give up.
The rock hit the window just as her curtains twitched to the side. He could see her silhouetted against the light, looking down at him but he couldn't see her face. He tried to ignore the way his heart leapt a little at the sight of her.
She shoved the window up and leaned out, dark blonde hair spilling out and hanging over the ledge.
"Hey," he whispered up at her, "can you come out?" He scuffed one toe of his Converse nervously but stopped when he realized what he was doing.
"Can you come up?"
The words were music to his ears and a smile spread across his face. He dropped his pebbles and leapt up onto the lattice, scaling it with ease. Violet retreated into her bedroom as he arrived at the window and pulled himself in. He let out a silent thank you that he didn't trip or stumble through the window, instead unfolding his long legs with seemingly practiced grace. Upon stepping foot into the room a sense of peace washed over him, peace that he was beginning to associate with Violet. There was something about her, she soothed him, drove away the bad thoughts, the voices.
Violet walked past him and shut the window and he could smell her intoxicating scent in the tiny wake of air that came behind her.
Then she had turned to him.
The rage that he had felt upon seeing her injuries was unprecedented. He had felt a similar sensation when Constance had hurt his siblings, but, he supposed, he had gotten used to it because seeing that angry red blossom of tender skin on her face set his blood to boil.
It had been Leah, of course it had been her. He had figured as much when he had heard about the fight, but the fact that it has also been Violet…
He was proud that she was the one who fucked Leah up though.
My kind of girl he thought, looking at her through the slight haze of the joint they were sharing between them. There was a touch of moisture on the paper of the joint and he savored the sensation of it on his lips. It was intimate, like a ghost of a kiss.
Their plan was pretty good, although Violet had no idea what she or Leah was in for. Maybe he was taking it too far…but this girl dragging on the joint across from him, expertly French inhaling in a way that made him slightly hard, she was different. She was fearless. She could handle it.
Or she might run for the hills, freak.
When she had asked if he wanted to watch something he had worked hard to contain both the surprise and eagerness he felt at the simple question. Tate had thought that their night was coming to an end and had, frankly, been dreading it. The idea of leaving the sanctuary of her bedroom, of her, was almost painful.
From the window seat he had watched her go to her bed and arrange pillows before stretching out on the plush surface. The action was so comfortable, so natural, as if she did this all the time.
The thought of her doing this before, with some douche here in Tate's place sent a spike of irrational jealous anger through him.
God, what was the matter with him?
He shut her window and nervously approached the bed, pausing when his knees touched it and looking down at her, unsure. Her eyes flicked up briefly and he sat down on the bed as casually as possible, not wanting her to see his raging insecurity. Tate toed off his shoes before bringing his legs up onto the deep purple comforter. The bed was soft and inviting, somehow appropriate for her and he felt himself relax almost immediately. Well, relax aside from the way his heart was hammering in his chest.
He couldn't control his nerves; it wasn't as if he had ever been in a girl's bedroom at night, let alone on her bed. But here he was, with a girl who, quite possibly, was going to be the death of him he was becoming so addicted, a girl who actually wanted him here with her.
Just enjoy it, you stupid fuck.
So enjoy it he did. She set the computer between them and sat back, close enough that their shoulders touched. He felt an electrical current run through him at the touch and could hardly pay attention to the opening sequence of the movie because he was so focused on that tiny, seemingly insignificant bit of contact between them.
Then she switched off the lights.
Alone, with her, in bed, in the dark. Tate had no fucking idea what to do.
He knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to shut the laptop and slide over until he was pressed up against her, forcing a leg between hers, those legs covered by that measly slip of skirt. He wanted to run a hand through her hair, the hair he knew would be impossibly soft. He wanted to kiss her, to feel the heat flood him from head to toe, to feel her moan against his mouth as he sucked and bit her lower lip. He wanted to run a hand up her leg, all the way up to her sharp hipbone, to trace light circles on her hip, her ass, to make her shiver and breathe heavily at his touch. He wanted to feel her small hand run up the back of his neck and into his hair, her fingernails scraping his scalp before seizing his hair and tugging. He wanted-
He inhaled sharply as he snapped back to reality. The opening of the movie was just finishing and he shifted so that Violet wouldn't be able to see the physical result of his little fantasy.
The movie was good, he would give her that. It was brutal and smart, humorous with just enough gore. The voices that normally would have started at the sight of said gore did not make an appearance. The Violet effect. He wasn't unaware that they reacted in the same way to all the same parts, and he liked it. He found that he was enjoying himself immensely. How long had it been since he had, had…fun?
Fun was an empty concept to him. He supposed that he used to have fun with his father, before everything happened, but he literally could not think of a real memory in which he had fun. Playing with Addie was sometimes enjoyable, he liked making her happy, but it wasn't fun.
He was contemplating this when he noticed a change in Violet's breathing and then her head dropped slowly onto his shoulder. He was frozen, unsure if she was making a move on him or was asleep. He wasn't sure which he wanted to be the case. He tensed, and looked down at her without moving his head. Her eyes were closed, a lock of hair falling across her delicate features.
Once again, Tate was entirely unsure of what to do. Should he leave? He didn't want to leave. He had the excuse of the movie. He could pretend to be asleep…
No. He might have a nightmare. All Tate knew was that he didn't want to leave. So he carefully raised his arm, the one closest to Violet, and brought it around behind her. Her head fell a little bit more, settling into the crook between his body and arm. She nestled her head in a bit and sighed, then was still.
Tate watched her, biting his lip. He wondered what she dreamed about. Did she have nightmares, like him? He hoped she had beautiful, happy dreams. He hoped she dreamed about him.
Stupid, he scolded himself.
Any dream involving him was guaranteed to be a nightmare.
Tate had never felt more relaxed, more content, in all of living memory. This girl, this wonderful, mysterious, dark girl asleep, literally, in his arms, in their dark cave of solitude.
The movie ended but still he held her, guarding her from the night. He rested his head on hers, his lips and nose pressed into her hair. She smelled sweet with a hint of spice and tinged with marijuana. Tate closed his eyes and breathed her in, memorizing every sensation because he had no way of knowing if this would ever happen again. This was the closest he had ever been to another human being in his entire life. Of this he was certain.
For a moment he reconsidered his plan for Leah. Could he risk scaring Violet off? He couldn't turn back now, he had no other plan. She would understand…
Tate didn't move until the sun began to creep through the window. He cursed that infernal yellow sphere for it meant that he would have to go. Violet had shifted in her sleep and now her petite arm lay across his abdomen. He could just see the beginnings or ends of her many scars lined up like little soldiers in her battle against the world.
Feeling silly but not caring, Tate laid a feather-light kiss upon her forehead and began to slide his arm out from under her. She did not wake as he set her upon the pillows, didn't wake when he pulled the covers down from under her and then back over to cover her.
Didn't wake when he turned back from the open window to say, "Sweet dreams, Violet."
Now, walking towards his house in the afternoon light, Tate smiled at the memory. His smile faded as the house came into view, replaced by a mask of determination.
Leah would pay for what she did to Violet.
Constance was not home and Tate dropped his bag inside the door, heading straight for the basement. The stairs creaked under his quick, heavy footfalls and the smell of must and decay filled his nostrils. The ghosts were here.
"Thaddeus," he called into the dark space, "come out here you little bastard."
He heard scuffling movement and knew that the horrible, Frankenstein's monster junior was around here somewhere.
He looked over his shoulder, half expecting to see Nora. He hadn't seen her in a long time and now, when he did, she did not recognize him. It hurt when she asked "Who are you? What are you doing in my house?" Crying, always crying. She just wanted her baby…
But her baby was now the think skulking in the corners in the periphery of Tate's vision. He turned and saw a glint of light off of two beady eyes before they disappeared again.
"I have a special treat for you today," Tate said to the shadows. "But you must not kill her, and you must, under no circumstances, touch the girl with blonde hair. You got that?"
There was a low growl and, Tate thought, if a growl could be mutinous, that one would have been.
"Thaddeus," he said softly, dangerously, "If you lay one grimy hand, one tooth on the other girl, you will wish that you had stayed dead. Do you understand me?"
This time the growl was softer, submissive, and Tate knew that he had made himself clear. These ghosts acted tough, but it was so easy to master them. Well, easy for him. They knew the house had an attachment to Tate, they knew what Tate was capable of.
He shook the impending darkness from his thoughts. He had to concentrate, Violet and that bitch would be here soon and despite Thaddeus's agreement, Tate needed to make sure that nothing, nothing happened to Violet. The thought of any of the monsters that inhabited the house touching Violet was enough to make him dig his fingernails into the palms of his hands, enough to make his blood start to run hot.
No, he would protect her. There was no other option.
But could he protect her from himself?
Tate dragged an old rocking chair across the dusty concrete floor of the basement, situating it directly under the single light bulb dangling from the ceiling. Jars rattled as Thaddeus scampered around the perimeter of the room, always out of sight, excited. It had been a long while since Thaddeus had anything alive to torture.
He was nervous, Tate realized, as he ran his hands down his jeans to clear some of the sweat. Never before had he exposed his secret life to anyone. Constance was adamant that they keep the secrets of the house and she enforced these rules with vicious slaps and equally vicious words.
The chair creaked in the silent room, echoing off of the bare walls. Back and forth back and forth.
Suddenly the sound of the back door opening made him sit up straight, staring up at the ceiling like he could see through it. See Violet looking around with wide eyes, see her step back to let Leah in. Leah would no doubt have a scowl on her face to cover up the fear she felt. People were never comfortable here, the house made sure of that. There were too many ghosts, too many bad memories.
And one more was about to take place.
He heard the murmur of voices and the basement door opened on noisy, rusted hinges.
"What's down there?" a girl's voice asked. Not Violet, he would know Violet's voice. Leah.
"My stash," Violet replied casually. Two sets of light, hesitant footsteps descended the stairs. "parents toss my room every week. The guy who lives here lets me hide it in the basement for a small cut."
"If you're screwing with me…" Tate smiled to himself. Leah was getting scared. She had no idea what she was in for.
"It's just the basement," Violet scoffed, "I found the best hiding place. This is great shit, too."
Violet was a good little liar, it seemed. Tate wished that fact didn't make him simultaneously proud and nervous.
Violet continued on, making her story more plausible, something about lobster boats and boobs.
"So where is it?" he heard Leah ask.
"Right around the corner."
The footsteps grew nearer and he heard Violet snap, "To the right."
It was almost show time.
"This place is a dump," Leah said and Tate thought, you got that right.
"Oh shut up!" Violet said.
"I want my goddamn drugs."
"Then keep going."
They were walking through the hall now, the hall with no lights. A few more steps and…
Violet switched on the light in the room, illuminating Tate.
"So this is the coke whore," he said casually. Leah jumped and turned to look at him with surprise and alarm.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" Leah demanded.
"Get the lights."
He saw Violet smirk at him. Partners in crime.
Tate had prepared himself in the past few moments, prepared himself for what he must do.
The lights turned off.
There was a brief moment of darkness before the shitty fluorescent lights that often tweaked out began to buzz on and off. Tate had sliced the wires and loosened the bulbs earlier in the day so that the effect would be even more dramatic. Then he took a deep breath and began to laugh, a horrible, maniacal laughter that ripped its way out of his chest and throat. The darkness closed in. He was a passenger in his own body, as the monster inside took hold. He hadn't meant to let himself go completely, and he scrabbled for a purchase on his own mind but it was hard, so hard.
Just let go, Tate. It will be so much easier if you just let go…
"What is going on?! What is going on!?" Leah shrieked but Tate continued, losing himself to the darkness. It swept through him, at once hot and cold, creeping through his veins, shrouding his mind. He closed his eyes as he laughed and saw blood, so much blood. Saw Leah ripped to shreds before him, Thaddeus consuming her intestines, Tate smearing her blood all over the walls- He began to thrash as the demons tried to take control of him, as the voices in his head became a cacophonous roar.
Then Thaddeus came out to play.
"Kill her! Kill her!" Tate heard himself say in a deep growling voice, almost a bark, but it wasn't him. It was the voices, the demons. Maybe he had let himself go too far this time, allowed himself to be too vulnerable to them. The thrashing hurt but he barely felt it, barely was aware of anything.
Leah fell to the floor with a crack as Thaddeus tackled her.
"Get off me! Get off me!" she screamed, fighting. Tate found himself there as well, fighting for a hold on Leah's neck, her hair. He wanted to kill the bitch. Wanted to destroy her. To eviscerate her!
Then a new scream added to the chorus.
"Taaaate!" she screamed, "STOP!" It was almost enough to make him stop. A small part, the part that was still Tate, that was still even human turned to her, saw her distorted face in the flickering light. His heart clenched.
Then he was standing behind her. He didn't know how he got there but he was, watching the show as Thaddeus continued his attack. But Thaddeus and Leah weren't the only ones doing battle. Tate was fighting himself.
Kill her, kill her!
No, it's enough!
Destroy! Blood! Pain!
It's enough! Violet…
Kill Violet! Fucking kill them all!
The darkness won and Tate lunged forward, accidentally knocking Violet down in the process. He wanted to turn back, he hadn't meant to hurt her, he would never hurt her, but he couldn't stop - he wasn't himself, he wasn't the one in control anymore. The darkness was closing in around him, his vision was red, the bloodlust choking him, pushing him forward, causing him to ignore Violet's yelp of pain, her screams of terror.
Tate was on Leah, choking her, not enough to kill her but enough to hurt and scare her. He wanted to choke her to death. To watch as he squeezed the life out of her, as her eyes bulged and her lips turned blue. She deserved to die. She had hurt Violet. They all deserve to die.
Then a scream pierced the haze of bloodlust and darkness, shooting straight to his heart and turning it cold.
He whipped his head around and saw Thaddeus crawling towards her. She was backed up against the old boiler, screaming, terrified as the monster reached towards her with claws extended. Leah forgotten, Tate leapt towards Thaddeus and flung him away. The little shit. Seemingly unaware of it all, Thaddeus went back to Leah and suddenly swept his claws across her cheek.
Then the lights went on and Tate found himself in his chair, the last remnants of the darkness slithering out of his system.
His eyes were immediately drawn to Violet who stood by the light switch, hands supporting her on the wall.
Her face was a mask of horror.
The single light bulb revealed Leah writing on the floor. In an instant she leapt to her feet and ran screaming from the room as if Thaddeus was still after her. Violet darted after her, her voice a high pitched shriek as she yelled, "Will you wait?!"
Tate, still on his high, followed Violet, leaning against the door frame. They had done it, they had punished Leah. So why did Violet look so terrified?
"I don't think she will be bothering you anymore," he said, expecting Violet to agree. The look of panic on her face was somewhat unexpected but seeing Thaddeus could always do that. The human, Tate part of his brain was starting to register the dark stain spreading across Violet's stocking-clad knee upon which she had fallen, the way she retreated from him .
"What was that?" she demanded, tears shining in her eyes.
The smile began to fade from his lips.
"What are you talking about?" he asked, his senses returning to him. He began to realize that he had fucked up but continued to defend himself out of habit. "She kneed me in the balls and got away! She must have run into a wall or something."
Violet's face was contorted with fear. "No I saw something!" she sobbed.
"What are you talking about? Violet you're talking crazy. This is cool, we showed that bitch."
She had seen. She had seen and she couldn't handle it. He had thought that she was fearless, why was she looking at him that way? Hadn't she wanted to scare the shit out of that bitch? Well, he had done it. For her.
She continued to back away from him, feeling her way towards the stairs without taking her scared eyes off of him.
"Get away from me!" Violet said between clenched teeth. Tate's heart went cold. "I never want to see you again!" He reached out for her then, fully coming to his senses, abruptly coming down off of his high. I never want to see you again. The words rang in his ears and he approached her, desperate to make things right.
She shoved him away, hitting the whitewashed brick wall before fleeing up the stairs.
I never want to see you again.
Rage filled him then, uncontrollable.
"I thought you weren't afraid of anything!" he shouted after her as the hem of her black dress flitted out of his line of vision. He heard the door slam and then there was silence.
Tate took a shallow, shuddering breath and felt the sting of tears welling in his eyes. The darkness - it had consumed him, devoured him whole…
And she had seen.
And she had run from him.
A/N: Ooh, I didn't want to write this part but I knew I had to. Violet had to see Tate's darkness first hand. The home invaders are coming soon, Tate's redemption. DID YOU GUYS HEAR THAT EVAN PETERS IS GOING TO BE IN THE THIRD SEASON OF AHS?! I am SO excited! As fantastic as Jessica Lang is, the show would be lacking without our dear Evan. As always, I love you all and review please! They make me ever so happy. Xx Lady Ten