Title: Gold Star Economy
Summary: She comes from a long line of mental illness, high IQs, medical degrees and murder victims. Ghosts don't scare her.
Spoilers/Warning/Triggers: Language, violence, sexual situations, drug use, slight S1 and S2 fusion,
A/N: So I just started thinking this and then actually started writing it because ohyellowbird, remember that amazing AHS author? Yeah, well she's been away for awhile getting mad educated and well…she's educated now and this is for her.
Ben: I was a troubled kid, a lot like you, Tate.
Hayden: He said my skin was soft like a baby's.
Vivien: When you fall in love it's like you go a little crazy.
Those are lines from season one, or better yet proof as to why Ben Harmon is the son of Bloody Face (or should be) and what season three of AHS should be centered around but probably won't be, thus leading me to have to write this fic. Also in light of some recent east coast events dealing with a school shooting and thus Tate's canon history certain things mentioned may be triggery for people more so right now than they were before, so if that is the case than please don't read. Wait or avoid. I won't be offended. The references are minimal at this point and are likely to stay that way and be mentioned in passing.
She's always been a curious kid, once she found a paperweight in a box of her dad's old things and a decorative mummy arm that her parents bought on their honeymoon.
After her first rated R movie that showed not only gratuitous bloody violence but nudity she realized that the paperweight was a well preserved severed breast and later when the mummy arm was still hung in her dad's old office above a bust of King Tut and Bast figurine she'd unraveled it and found the modern tattooing underneath.
There were other things too.
A scrapbook and a birth certificate and the long lost paternal half of her family tree.
But it all led to discovery right around the time she'd turned thirteen.
And all family dinners after the one where she asked out loud why neither of them thought to mention to her that her dad was the son of a serial killer just have not lived up to the level of uncomfortable or sitcom kooky since.
She kept mum on the pickled tit and severed arm, but she suspects her dad knows. She wonders sometimes if her mom knows, or if it's just one of those things that pass from one parent to their firstborn, like some horrible disease brought on by genetic happenstance.
There's no tertiary chain of the common serial killer litmus test marking up her childhood like the development progress of infants into toddlers into preadolescents.
She's never wet the bed passed a reasonable age, and the fires she's set were accidental kitchen mishaps dealing with cookies and melted kitchen utensils left on electric stove tops, and she's very good with animals.
But still she's curious.
And she takes after her dad; she's a killer, even if she hasn't had the chance to murder someone yet.
Her mother has a miscarriage. And it's strange, for awhile it's like she's dead too. Until…
Her dad cheats on her mother. Her mother came at him with a knife, she finds out after the fact, and she wonders if maybe her parents are really kind of perfect for each other.
She finds nothing sinister in her mother's old storage stuff, no hidden past, but she gets what her dad must have seen in her when they weren't married yet.
Her mother isn't a victim, and maybe that's the point. She's not so dead inside anymore after that, just rage and fire and a different kind of life.
Her dad buys the Murderhouse.
Violet sees the irony in it.
Plays it cool because her dad's insane and her mom's unstable.
No more mom and dad and her.
And it's sort of perfect.
Violet sees the irony in it. Of him. Of her.
Things are fine, good, normal. For awhile. Like always. Segments of her life are broken up into the normal for awhile bits and then something spikes, jerks hard, careens into something else and breaks the fine china normalcy.
Her parents aren't having sex with each other anymore, and her mom got a dog, and her dad dragged them across the country, and she's fighting in the school cafeteria and burning people with cigarettes, and Tate hangs out after his therapy sessions and then they get home invaded by murder junkies and…yeah, ironic.
Gets it so much she should get a fucking gold star on her 'understanding the mind of a reformed psychopath turned family man' accomplishment chart.
Because when her dad finds out Tate was in the house and he wasn't and Tate killed people and then hid them where he has no idea where, he snaps.
Reformations do not last long; she learned that in world history.
Violet Harmon gets a gold star.
Tate Langdon shows up for a therapy session and her dad snaps his fucking neck. You can hear it on the audio recording.
Buries him in the backyard, seals the uneven ground with cement and builds a pretty nice gazebo on top of it.
But then things get weird.
The gazebo goes down board by board and her mother just tells her it's because she's pregnant again and her dad is going through some male version of nesting during the first trimester.
Her mother's oblivious.
And then the cement gets pick-axed open under the pretense of her dad wanting to put a pool in to raise property value.
And then there's an empty shallow grave opened up in the backyard and no decomposing body of some missing teenage boy inside.
Really though it's not some plot twist, no police had stopped by asking questions about a runaway patient, and there have been no worried phone calls from Mrs. Langdon.
Tate's been haunting her dad for weeks at this point. A real one man spook show too, from what's she's seen.
And she's known since the week they moved in that's he's been a living dead boy. The neighbor lady, ("Constance, dear. Please."), has a picture of him set up in a prominent spot inside her home.
Violet knows, because while murder has never been her thing, breaking and entering once the old lady next door goes to the supermarket has held a certain sort of sweetness in it, one that's much more potent than jacking out of date iPod nanos from someone's backpack or packs of Marlboros from someone's purse.
So her dad plays doctor and Tate plays boy with violent mass murder fantasies and she recognizes midlife crisis when she sees it.
Tate is her dad's version of vicarious youth living; he must miss the days before medical school and cleaning up his act and a wife and kid(s).
And so her and Tate listen to Nirvana and he pretends to be alive and that he got sent away to some youth camp for bad kids for the month he wasn't a three-times-a-week afternoon fixture for her. It's cool, she gets it. Ghosts can be scary.
But ever since she watched her dad try to hide the evidence of an intentional murder gone unintentional discovery of paranormal afterlife existence she's been having a hard time ignoring her genetic predispositions.
"Were you ever going to tell me about it?"
"About what? The super homoerotic camp for delinquent boys? Don't worry, I'm saving myself for marriage. I want to be a virgin on our wedding night. Triple word score."
"No. About what it's like to shoot up your highschool. And get blown away by S.W.A.T."
And none of the future games of Scrabble have ever quite lived up to the high standard of shock and awe that one did.
A/N: and yeah…there's a beginning for you.