Summary: The house is an aquarium and she's just a dead fish floating on top of filmy water.
Warnings/Kinks: Language, Violence, Sexual Situations, Consensual Kink, Angst
A/N: So there are a lot of plays mentioned in this but you need to know that in "Miss Julie" the character Jean cuts off the head of Julie's canary with a meat cleaver because she can't kill it herself. Julie later goes off with Jean's straight razor to kill herself in the barn to save herself from the shame of having had sex with him; she's more than a little unstable and Jean is more than a little sociopathic/narcissistic. There's some joking dialogue between Tate and Violet that happens because of it. The wonderful nargunstars beta'd this for me, any mistakes are mine.
She lies on the bed and seethes, quietly and to herself, biting the filter of a cigarette that doesn't taste as good as it should. It doesn't taste like anything. The house is silent and the headlights of passing cars flash panoramic around the bedroom walls in the strange way that makes the world seem like it's underwater. There's air in the pipes, they gurgle and the entire room feels more like an aquarium.
Thinking about what type of fish she'd be takes the edge off her resenting anger. Narwhal. Giant Squid. Angler.
She lies on the bed and thinks about how Narwhals pierce the hulls of ships as efficiently as icebergs and how Giant Squids have beaks that can crush skulls and how female Angler fish dissolve the male and absorb their testicles to later use to impregnate themselves.
She wished she could have avoided noticing it.
But she just can't.
Constance died. Michael moved away. There's nobody left alive who knows who he is. Not really.
His newspaper headline was about what he did not who he was.
And now what he did is all he is.
Without mommy around to beat him and without her to swoon through the heart-pangs of first love he's got nobody to cry to, so at some point she guesses he just stopped crying.
And when there's nobody to cry to and nobody who knows who you are, it makes sense that you stop feeling obligated to make everyone else comfortable, to make yourself likeable.
And as it happens, that's good, because she really fucking hates him.
She wishes, as she smokes a second or third tasteless cigarette, that Constance had had someone to scare her shitless with some awful anecdote about how horrible the possibility of a fourth malignant mutant as a child would be, that someone had scraped her beautiful, perfect, boy out of her body with an unsterilized medical utensil.
He wears a pair of heavy boots now and his footsteps make a distinctive thump on the wood floor. She hears him climb the stairs at night sometimes and every so often the floorboards outside the door to the room she's in squeak. Sometimes he keeps walking, boots slogging along, displacing the dust. Sometimes the stretch of banister in front of her door creaks from the weight put on it by a pair of hands or a leaning spine.
His shirts are black because blood shows up too well on blue flannel; he's got a belt on most days too, the reason for that being substantially more disturbing.
While she smokes and thinks about being a fish in a house that's really an aquarium, he fucks. He fucks Nora, and Hayden, and Moira.
He kills Nora's dead baby deader, pisses on Hayden's tombstone gazebo, and thumps through blood puddles with his stupid boots and leaves the mess for Moira.
They don't talk or run into each other, they just haunt the same house. She's listless and tired, ghostly in the most mundane of ways. She lies on the bed like a layer of dust so fixed that nothing in her mind can stir her body into action or response.
The floorboards squeak in the hall. One day he's going to thump around and scatter her like so much dust.
Terror Tours buys Murder House at a bank auction.
It's renovated and nondescript mannequins in standard Adult Male, Adult Female, Child Male, Child Female, Teen Male, and Teen Female variations are arranged at murder scene sites around the house. Her dad's former office is the gift shop. The outside portico is café seating during the spring and summer seasons.
Hours are 5 PM to 2 AM. They do an all day and all night Halloween party tour with $35 getting you access to the open bar. In the winter they close shop and redecorate.
The foyer and the den are modern family, the basement is a grim laboratory, the gift-shop is sixties sorority, the dining room and one of the bedrooms Vanderbilt-esque aesthetic. Moira and Hayden don't have their names on the marquee. Their bones haven't been found. Hers never will be.
Michael Langdon has hers.
She had him take them with him when he went.
When she thinks about it later she realizes Hugo and Elizabeth and Travis aren't on the brochure either. Nobody found their bodies.
Tate's got his own little exhibit. Her room is his again and she has to relocate.
Billy Dean is a special guest the third Halloween.
Her nails are polished with Tropical Temptation and her skirted suit matches. She's wearing a pumpkin pin on her lapel.
"It's been awhile."
"How are you?"
"Still dead. Croatoan is shit, by the way."
"I'm sorry you died."
"Are you scared of me?"
"Everything in this house scares me."
"Then maybe you should stay away from it."
"Hey, a gig's a gig."
She reads all the great stuff: Shakespeare's histories and a few of the bloodier tragedies, Wilde's one-liners, Chekhov's family dramas of coulda woulda shoulda circles and schemes, the laments and joy of Greek choruses, and the wildly self-important and slimly disguised rumblings of misogynistic, bigoted, isolated, and mentally depraved people who think they're political, or philosophical, or beyond the minds that make up society.
Lady Anne is seduced by Richard's crimes and his power and his lies despite having loved her husband and her father, despite Richard being an ugly little man, despite the unspoken knowledge that even though she's a woman Richard killed to have she is not irreplaceable.
Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,
That never slept a quiet hour with thee,
Now fills thy sleep with perturbations
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!
Chiron and Demetrius rape Lavinia on top of her husband's dead body.
Stay, madam; here is more belongs to her;
First thrash the corn, then after burn the straw:
This minion stood upon her chastity,
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
And with that painted hope braves your mightiness:
And shall she carry this unto her grave?
An if she do, I would I were an eunuch.
Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
And make his dead trunk pillow our lust.
Cecily relates to Algernon who is pretending to be Jack's brother Ernest who does not exist that she's been in love with him since hearing that he was the bad boy from the city and has written letters to herself in the manner which he would write them to her so as to have already started a fine romance with him by the time they meet so he can waste no time and propose to her then and there.
Darling! And when was the engagement actually settled?
On the 14th of February last. Worn out by your ignorance of my existence, I determined to end the matter one way or the other, and after a long struggle with myself I accepted you under this dear old tree here. The next day I bought this little ring in your name, and this is the little bangle with the true lovers' knot I promised you always to wear.
Did I give you this? It's very pretty, isn't it?
Yes, you've wonderfully good taste, Ernest. It's the excuse I've always given for your leading such a bad life. And this is the box in which I keep all your dear letters.
My letters! But my own sweet Cecily, I have never written you any letters.
You need hardly remind me of that, Ernest. I remember only too well that I was forced to write your letters for you. I wrote always three times a week, and sometimes oftener.
A cherry orchard gets chopped down once the accountant buys it. There's Marxist fulfillment of low social class rising to new man status, cue the small talk over luggage as an adoptive daughter is prompted to finally spark the love that's been unresolved and unformed between the man who has bought her family's home. Alas, the rich and the poor don't breed well together. It's Russian melodrama that's just tragedy that tastes less like blood and smoke and more like a stale saltine cracker.
That's funny. I can't find them…
What are you looking for?
I packed them myself, and now I don't remember where.
What…ah…where are you off to, Varya?
Me? I'm going to work for the Ragulins. I talked to them about it already; they need a housekeeper. And look after things, you know…
All the way over there? That's fifty miles away. Well, looks like this is the end of things around here…
Where are they…? Or maybe I put them in the trunk. You're right: this is the end of things here. The end of one life-
I'm going too. To Harkov. Taking the same train, actually. I've got a million things waiting for me. I'm leaving Yepikhodov, though. Hired him to take charge here.
You hired who?
Last year this time it was snowing already, remember? Today it's still sunny. Nice day. A little chilly, though…It was freezing this morning; must have been in the thirties.
I didn't notice. Anyway the thermometer's broken.
Oedipus is the original mother fucker and doesn't die like he should until two plays later.
Now my curse on the murderer. Whoever he is,
A lone man unknown in his crime
Or one among many, let that man drag out
His life in agony, step by painful step-
I curse myself as well…if by any chance
He proves to be an intimate of our house,
Here at my hearth, with my full knowledge,
May the curse I called down on him strike me!
Miss Julie is a stunted little girl in a woman's body and Jean thinks he's a new man but really he's just an upstart and his masters will remember no matter what livery he's wearing after the play ends that he's just a servant.
Then you hate me, too?
You have no idea how much! I'd like to see you killed like an animal-
Like when you're caught having sex with an animal: you get two years at hard labor and the animal is killed. Right?
But there's no one to catch us-and no animal!-So what are we going to do?
Go away from here.
To torture ourselves to death?
No. To enjoy ourselves for a day or two, or a week, for as long as we can-and then-to die-
Die? That's stupid! I've got a better idea: start a hotel!
Tate will pick up her books, underlined and annotated as they are, read them and draw more conclusions from her penciled notes than the actual content itself.
It's a book club of two and she doesn't care about getting her copy back.
Moira's told him that she fucked Michael.
And yeah, maybe.
He's fucked Nora.
Michael and her never had a chance to share a fort made out of sheets stretched over dining room chairs or splash around in a kiddie pool naked. Nora's kissed Tate's scabbed knees and read him bedtime stories.
So, how's that for breaking the incest taboo?
Every time Beau scurries further away from her thrashing limbs and rasping gurgles the chain gets tighter around her throat.
The chain is new but what they're doing isn't. She started it.
He likes it.
It's the closest they get to fucking.
He's really very inventive. Now he doesn't have to use his hands, at least not to strangle her with.
But it's escalating. The first time he gave her the necklace bruise of his fingers, something snap, crackle, popped and it was over.
Last time he fumbled one handed at her throat while he undid his pants, she stayed conscious longer, felt the heaviness of his dick against the inside of her thighs, the heat of it through her tights. His eyes were open and from the way his face looked you'd think he was actually inside of her.
He comes and she feels the damp heat on her skin. He leans too much weight onto the hand braced on her trachea, or maybe he means to do it. She's not sure if she passes out or dies.
This time she's got fingers slipped under the chain, it hurts but she wants to be conscious for as long as she can.
He says her name and she thrashes, hard, tries to bash her head against his. He grunts and shifts his hips down harder in-between her kicking legs.
He gets it.
There's a reason she came back a second time, and now a third.
He won't fuck her, not this time, maybe not even the time after this. Eventually though, she guesses he will. What's the point if he doesn't?
Maybe it's a bad decision on her part. She just won't know how bad until she actually lets him do it. Until she does it.
She dealt with worse bad decisions.
His hand slides over her navel and his fingers fit themselves under the band of her bra, his nails drag over a nipple. He kisses her neck, the underside of her chin, her throat. A hand pulls down her tights, her knees forced closer together by the banded nylon. Her panties get caught with her tights enough that the elastic waist is sitting too low on her hipbones, too low on her ass. There will be a mark later.
There will be all sorts of marks on her later.
She worms a hand between them and works his belt open one-handed. His grip on her wrist is sudden, and his eyes are shrewd. He unwraps the heavy links from her neck; they catch on her hair and dig into her forehead hard before they're finally clacking against the floor.
And then his belt is out of its loops and it takes the empty spot the chain's left.
The same thing happens in one of her favorite Manga stories. The difference is the belt is more of an accessory in the comic and right now it's menswear leather tightening on her airway.
Then she can feel his erection, naked heat, the wet tip kissing the line of skin between thigh and groin.
He pulls harder on the belt at the same moment he starts pushing against her thighs and the wet mess of her panties. The crotch of them isn't seated right on her body and with every slick push his skin touches her cunt in some way that isn't enough.
His orgasm is messy and she feels it all over the inside of her thighs. She doesn't realize he's pulled the belt tight enough to make her vision tunnel, but he has and she struggles, hips tossing themselves up against him, trying to get off, desperate. He knows.
He pulls tighter and smiles.
She wakes up sticky and angry.
He charms Nora; her bracelets and nails clack against the edge of the dining room table she leans against. He's got one of her milk-pale skinny legs hefted up against his hip and she has to go up on her toes. Beading from her dress bounces on the floor around his shoes.
Violet watches him ram up into her again and again, hard. Nora doesn't squawk like Violet would expect her too. After they're finished she watches Nora tissue off under her skirt with an old handkerchief.
Moira talks while Tate lies back on the new bed in his old bedroom. Of course, she's on top while she talks, bouncing slowly, languidly rolling bare hips and stomach. Violet wonders if they're reliving something they've done before. Wonder's if his dead maid snuck into his room one night when he was post-puberty and still alive and did this with him.
He laughs at something she says, thrusts up and bounces her higher.
Moira squeaks and bends to bite his nipple in retaliation.
When it comes to Hayden it's easier than charming Nora and quicker than Moira's siren seduction, she likes him behind her, hates it when he talks, she closes her eyes. Violet wonders if it's because she's pretending it's someone else fucking her.
That idea is only slightly less nauseating than what she's watching them do.
Michael knows she's dead, knows her mom is his mom, and doesn't care.
She doesn't watch him much while he's growing up. She thinks he's looking for her mom. Just to look, just to see her. He's got one foot in the grave, climbing out or falling in. No one's really sure.
But he sneaks in, staking things out beforehand on his evening runs around the neighborhood.
He looks genuinely shocked at her sudden appearance and then concerned, maybe, over the state of her, she's in as much disrepair as the house, her hair is tangled and her knees are dusty, she's barefoot and her maxi dress has caught on so many nails so many times it's half the length it used to be.
It's the dress she's wearing when he fucks her the first time. She's not wearing any underwear. If she had been she'd have given them to him as a souvenir anyway.
When there's no one around who's alive the energy in the house is different, she's different.
It's hard to form words, it's harder to flit from room to room, but for the first time in a long time of not caring about Michael Langdon or anyone, what they did, what they said, and then talking to him after so long of not caring…
It made her feel like there weren't marbles taped to her eyelids and that her limbs weren't sandbags.
It made her feel good, alive, satiated, full in a way that made her realize she'd been withering away for a long time.
Once he told her that, for him, it was the opposite.
Being around the house made his brain feel like it was rotting, molding.
But he said it wasn't supposed to sound bad, he said it was nice from what it was like outside.
He told her that outside the world was telephone line static and malevolence, that everywhere there was only the icy frisson of inherent badness in everyone, languor taking over and turning everyone's soul into a swamp where things lived that even animals who eat carrion wouldn't want to consume.
Violet could never tell if there was something to the things he said or if he was just an introspective flavor of crazy in contrast to his father's far more bombastic insanity.
Maybe he is the antichrist. She doesn't think he's subtle enough for that yet, if ever.
Eventually they fuck.
The sudden onslaught of not being so goddamn tired all the time means she's aware of her ability to feel other things. The degree of inferiority she felt knowing she lost her virginity to a boy who fucked her mother first ebbs away and what the tide brings in is rage.
The biblical kind, eyes for eyes and hands for hands.
Fucks for fucks.
She grabs his chin one day and tugs his mouth to where hers can reach, his upper lip tastes briny, he's sweating from his routine sprint sessions. For once she's someone who can be anyone, he has no formed opinion, she's raw material that she can shape herself.
So she's Nora's infuriatingly girlish mean streak, Moira's obtuse angle body shapes of stretched limbs and seduction, Hayden's coquettish brand of crazy with a taste for self-degradation, and she's even Leah's Queen Bee waspish bitchiness.
Sometimes she thinks that Michael was just practice.
Finding out who she really wanted to be once she wanted to be as close to a real girl as she could be, again.
Father and son are built relatively the same she remembers thinking before and then after when she rediscovered Tate without his clothes on. Michael's taller, tanner, his wrists are smooth but his knuckles are scarred and there's a split in his eyebrow from something sharp. She never asks about it, and he's not one for childhood memories.
They fuck slowly, thoroughly, carefully. On her part it's because it's new and strange and novel: he's alive, she's dead, he may not be entirely alive anyway, it's a vacation, it's checking out, it's something she can't get anywhere else. He's more ghost boy touching her under the covers than Tate at the end of her bed was. Tate feels real and Michael is a lucid dream.
Dreams can't hurt you.
You can't die in dreams.
His bedroom next door never has the curtains drawn next door and sometimes she's just not around. It makes both of them wonder whether the other even exists. She can speak for both of them on that, only because Michael told her that sometimes the house feels like a house, but there's no change for him when he walks through the doors. The din in his head doesn't come to heel and slink away, the bells don't stop chiming, war drums keep on beating, no matter where he goes, sometimes.
All she can do is shrug and offer him the idea that maybe it isn't the house.
Moira sort of owes her.
Owes her a lot actually.
Owes her for not keeping Constance away from her parents, for not keeping her away from Tate, for coming around and playing pretend rather than be half as selfless as she would tell you she is. She shames her into it.
The old woman that she knows is easy to shame into submission and the young woman Tate knows her as is up for a good fuck or a good dick maiming.
For all their knock-down drag-out bullshit in the attic he's still fucking around. She gets it, it's easier with everyone else who isn't her. There's nothing to get over, get past, or bury with everyone's he's been fucking since he stopped fucking her.
He may need to bury his dick in someone besides her to get over and get past the fact that she won't play card games with him anymore.
She needs something a little different to get over and get past the guilt and embarrassment and loneliness she's been carrying around to keep her company.
When she really thinks about it though, and she does think about it, she doesn't need anything from him. She wants.
Want, Take, Have. Television lessons derived from being a kid in the nineties.
She wants to get over shit that matters in real life but doesn't now that she isn't alive, take a pound of flesh, have some goddamn peace of mind.
Moira pins down his arms with her knees once Tate's made her come with his mouth.
Violet's got her knees pressing down on the inside of his thighs.
She uses his belt, scrapes him so hard so many times with the metal prong that she bisects her way through half his dick.
They remove their weight while he's a shrieking mess of male pain, bleeding out across the dusty attic floor.
"Don't talk about my mother. It was for fucking around."
"I wasn't fucking around."
"Then what were you doing?"
"I was fucking. You remember what fucking is, don't you?"
She reminds herself while she has her hands around his throat. She picks up his head by the hair and drops it onto the floor too.
She's missed having him mistreat her body with his mouth.
How her lips buzz behind the pulse of his pressed against her mouth, the dull prickle of fingers touching the swollen aftermath of too many kisses.
Teeth on her tits, tongue on her clit.
His dental arrangement is mapped out on her shoulder, two crescents of dusky islands.
Her skin drags along the scrubbed raw floorboards where he bled out the first time. Patches of red on the back of her hips, scratches from the rasp of wood on her scapulas, his name is all she wants to say, she can't remember if she has already, if she has she's said it more than once, she doesn't want to say it too much, that's cliché.
He makes her bleat it out, her larynx bucking against a breath. It's hard to babble and breathe.
A lot of things she's read have sex in them somewhere, a paragraph, a passage, a chapter, three-quarters. In books it's like unity or completeness. It's something much different right now. It's gruesome. The entire thing. It's never felt anything like becoming one. It feels like he's trying to slowly, gently, get deeper, prod, push, slink, sink, deep enough to fuck right through her, other times it's like he's trying to fuck his way inside of her.
All the way.
He's in her all the fucking way; she's more him than whoever she was before.
She's restless suddenly, squirming, without purpose, losing the waving heat mirage edge on her fuck drunk need.
He doesn't stop.
She feels the hot wash of his orgasm, likes the residual wet threading of it off his dick and down the underside of her ass and inside of her thighs as he pulls out.
"I didn't come."
"I can't look at you, I get distracted."
"Why didn't you close your eyes?"
"Feels weird to close mine if yours are open."
"Do you want me to get behind you?"
"My knees hurt."
"You could make me wear a blindfold."
Finally she shakes her head, rolls up to sit on the floor and then unsticks her feet from the floor to grab a pillow from the bed, tossing it to him, it spins across the floor like a spider without legs someone has puffed on, "Sit on it."
"Because you'll hurt your ass if you don't," she tells him. He slides it under his body and reclines back on his elbows, looking thoroughly fucked.
"Get hard again."
He does, it takes a little bit of her mouth open and hot on his neck and chest and some filthy words about his dick, the way it feels in her but he gets hard and hot and heavy between her hands, he pants like a dog.
It's too fumblesome to start with her back to him, she has to line them up while he's looking up at her, wondering why she's doing it like this if her knees hurt, he tries to sit up and she presses him back down, his stomach is humid with sweaty slickness, she warns him not to move yet because she's not done. She pulls her knee and then her calf over his torso, sits sideways on him, and turns, the hard length of him stroking her all around her insides.
He makes a gaspy sound of humor and disbelief, like this is the moment he can identify as her finally gone all the way crazy.
"You just spun around on my dick. Holy shit." She hears him fall back against the floor.
He can be only as eloquent as the situation allows.
He moves her hair, rubs the indented trapezoid where bones form pockets, dimples that match the ones his grin always makes.
He pushes on her shoulder, her heels rub-rub-rasp the floor, her hip cracks like a knuckle, it feels like someone pouring warm water down the back of her neck with the way his hands move, when she closes her eyes it's like being under the covers at night, comfort, ease, sedation.
Knowing he's behind her just does shit to her, whether they're having sex or not, ghost breath on her neck even though he's lying down, fingertips that aren't there stroking her ribs and behind her ears feel as real as the heavy weight of him in her, she swallows to avoid drooling out pooled saliva, her throat sticks like a key that won't turn in a lock.
Her sex feels the same way, twisting, turning, forcing him deeper, letting up on the tension finally gets something to unlatch, and he's sliding further, bumping up against her womb, it's a twinge, plucking a string, strumming a chord that ends with a sound coming from her that makes his hips jerk.
And the overbearing awareness that it's him and her fucking and that it's the only thing she wants to do for awhile the only thing she needs to do, makes her eyes unlid and her head turn to look at him over her shoulder.
He's not smirking or staring or straining to move - it's like watching the way cats stretch and rub their faces against your calves, rolling over with claws poking out. She wonders if that's what it looks like when she's the one on the bottom.
"Why'd you stop?"
"Sorry, just feels good. Making it last."
"I'm not close, yet. This alright?" His open palm is on the inside of her thigh, thumb moving against the edges of her mound, it's warm and heavy there, gently possessive.
"Yeah." She puts his other hand on her belly, his fingers flex, imprinting the whorls on his skin into hers.
This time the feeling of breath on her neck is real.
The heel of his hand slides down the length of her thigh, again and again, presses against the muscle. Her leg shakes.
She braces a hand on the floor, the other on his leg and tilts her hips, her movements are slippery from him coming inside once already, and the hand on her stomach helps her remember to keep moving.
His tongue prods the marks on her shoulder and his lips mold themselves against the curve of it, sucking. His mouth makes the same sounds her body makes around his dick.
Her orgasm is like a blanket unraveling for a long time, fast and continuous but finally there's the knot at the end getting yanked undone.
They lie down side by side like they were put there. Feet by the other's head.
He kisses the floor burn on her knees and fumbles through a recitation of poetry by some dead dude who thinks he's a martyr love made, she's already just got done fucking one.
She rolls her eyes and knocks him lazily on the mouth while he's mid-word with her foot. He looks like he wants to smack her back. He's changed. She kind of likes it.
"Puh-leeeease, shut up."
"Yes, Miss Julie."
"I thought you liked birds."
"I like you."
"Find me a straight razor so I can murder myself in the barn to erase my shame when you tell my dad about how good you fucked me, how much I purred."
And just like the sight of spurred boots or the sound of a voice in the tube cows the virile valet Jean under the weight of impending disapproval, he settles down and stops with the discussion on dramatic literature.
It feels like her heart has stopped beating when he gets up and leaves.
A/N: So this was a oneshot, mainly written because I wanted to do a consensual breath play smut fic, that's it. Don't worry I'm working on a long fic at the moment, no idea when I will finish it but it'll be around 30k. Thank you to everyone reading my stuff and adding my fics to their favorites, it makes my day. Also there's a collab that will be going down in the near future that I think you all will like.