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You All Have Guns, And You Never Put The Safety On.

Chapter Text

Tate didn’t know why he did most things. Every emotion was like a singular snowflake upon his cheek, cold, there for a moment then it was gone.

Maybe that’s why he made bad decisions, most people had emotions that linger, like a buffer. Tate didn’t have the privilege of said buffer.

It was like trance, it wasn’t like a black out, he’d had those before. It was just, nothing.

Tate knew he was dead, that was a given, but everything else seemed muttled. He knew he lived there, he knew he had siblings and a mother, he remembered all that so clearly, but when he tried to remember how he died, it’s simply not there. Like the last months of his life was blurred away.

Time passed differently for the dead, some never even realized they were dead in the first place. Tate felt like he’d been there for an eternity in a blink of an eye.

For instance, he didn’t have a clue why he murdered the couple of queens who were living in his house. He just sorta, did.

Tate stared down at their bodies, he placed their bodies in the basement next to each other so they were holding hands. Something about them, something in the way they looked bothered him.

He hated the basement, it made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. The strange and arcane power of the house remained down there, swirling and growing with every soul trapped in that shit hole.

Moria stood next to him, her disappointment now turned exasperation. He understood her resentment towards his mother, Tate hated her too, but her grievance with him, he didn’t understand.

“Kinda romantic, isn’t it?” He said, “now they’ll be together forever.”

“I suppose so.” Moria sighed.

A twitch of an emotion he couldn’t quite place rose in this throat.

“We were supposed to be together forever.”

The voice was familiar, deep and rasping, a memory slipping through his grasp like smoke. His body prickled at the sound, Tate knew that voice, it felt like he couldn’t go on without it.

Tate whipped his head around, but there was nothing.

The fellow spirits either feared Tate or they avoided him, to much more unknown reasons, but this voice was hauntingly familiar yet it didn’t belong to anyone he could think of and they rarely if ever talked to him.

He looked to Moira but she only sighed.

His chest ached, the quick snowflakes of fleeting emotions had now turned to heavy, fat raindrops upon his cheeks. The voice, the bass of it made him long for something unknown.

Tate dejectedly threw his mask at the couple.

He hated the basement anyway, whatever that voice was was all the more reason to never go down there.

 

It was years later when Tate Langdon had found purpose, his emotions felt everlasting, his heart full with a familiar swell.

His purpose came in the form of Violet Harmon. Her eyes were soulful, they challenged and questioned Tate. She was perfect.

He watched her, even helped her fight off those batshit home invaders. She was kick ass for sure, with a music taste to match.

But things had gone south, he just wanted to take her on a date to the beach, somewhere he hadn’t been in years. It quickly turned sour as six bloody teenagers stumbled to them, claiming that Tate has killed them.

Violet had simply huffed it off, at first, but it ended up with her running home and away from them but Tate didn’t.

He couldn’t.

Not even for his Violet could he help the searing memories that flashed before him, he retched and almost vomited at the feeling.

He cried out as the memories flooded him, that feeling of almost painful numbness, the deep void in his mind finally filling.

The teenagers stood triumphantly around him, pleased at his dismays.

“What happened to your little homo boy-toy? You kill him too? You gonna kill her?” The shortest girl taunted.

Who? And why would he kill Violet?

“I have no idea what you’re talking about!” Tate snapped, lurching at her like a rabid dog.

She only smiled, happy with her answer.

“Don’t play dumb, asshole. I took pre-calc with you two, torture enough, you just had to kill me to seal the deal.” She said moving closer, unafraid of him.

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re saying, just leave Violet alone, alright?” Tate hissed.

“Another ‘V’, you got a type. Victor pt.2 kinda hales in comparison if you’re trying to replace him, I’d say she’s too smart, too much money, you always had a soft spot for that white trash motherfucker.” She taunted.

Tate went to grab for her but the hand of the tallest boy grabbing him, throwing him back first into the ground.

As Tate’s head cracked against the pavement, the name resonated inside of him. Tears streamed down his face as he laid there, looking up at the bloodied and mauled teenagers.

Victor.

The name was sweet like Violet’s on his lips. Familiar but so far away.

“Go back to the house and never, fucking ever, come back out.” The tallest boy said.

Tate stood up quickly then ran, legs shaking like the boogeyman was chasing him. The calling of the teenagers after him.

He cried as he ran home, tears blurring his vision. The memories were too heavy, he felt as if he was at the bottom of the ocean, each memory a wave beating down on him.

Why couldn’t he place Victor, who was he?

Tate shook his head and continued his way home, wanting to check on Violet before she fell asleep. She didn’t need to know what he’d done.

When he was able to make his way back into the house Violet was already asleep.

Tate stood at the end of her bed as she slept. She looked distressed in her sleep, her brows knitted close, lips pursed in worry.

He wanted to hold her, tell her it was okay and she was safe now. His stomach turned at the thought of her being scared, she deserved peace.

Carefully he crept next her. kneeling, he brushed her hair out of her face, she had fallen asleep with her day clothes on.

Tate could realize he was being weird, he shuffled backwards, sitting in the corner as he watched her.

Sleeping was different when you were dead, apparently memories were too.

Sometimes he’d fall asleep and wake up somewhere else entirely in the house, drifting between the human world and theirs.

As he rested his mind was far from easy, all he could think was the heft of the name “Victor.”

 

When he woke up, Violet was gone, probably to that fucking school.

She must’ve been upset with him, maybe even scared. He knew she hated school, she avoided it at any excuse, did she hate him now too?

He watched as Ben and Vivien squabbled pointlessly. He sometimes wondered how such people could have an amazing daughter such as Violet.

Where did she go? Did she really hate him?

He made his way up to her room, he hadn’t checked there for a while. Maybe she’s gotten his message.

Carefully he opened the door, tiptoeing in. Only to find Violet lifelessly slumped on the bed.

“Violet?” He asked, grabbing her shoulders. “Violet?!”

He looked around the room, what had happened?

She had no cuts, she wasn’t bleeding, no clutter, no rope just a bottle of pills.

Pills.

Oh god the bottle was almost empty.

Fuck fuck fuck.

Tears clouded his vision, this couldn’t be happening, she couldn’t be dying. Why did she do this?

She needed these out of her system, she needed to throw up.

He grabbed her hands, he drug her to the end of the hallway. Oh god, her body was so limp, so lifeless.

“Don’t you die on me, Violet, don’t you die on me!” He cried.

Who did this to her?

He turned on the bathtub, pulling both himself and Violet inside. He shoved his fingers down her mouth but she wasn’t throwing up. She needed to throw up, why wasn’t she throwing up?

She was seizing, incoherent mumbles falling out as she began to cry. She still had fight but it was leaving her.

“C’mon, Violet.” He said, shaking her. He sobbed as the last waves of her seizure. “No, no, no.” He muttered as her breathing was going faint.

He held her tighter, she was going to be trapped there. His cries grew hysterical as he tried to make her throw up again.

He waited against her head as he pulled her closer. He tried shaking her but it was no use.

“Stop it. You can’t save her.” A voice said sharply.

The voice was deep and gravely, chalked full of cigarettes and bad decisions. It accused Tate in a utmost knowledgeable way.

His eyes drifted to the source of the voice at the end of the bathtub.

There stood a teenage boy. His green eyes glowered at him, his heavily freckled face drawn tight with contempt. His nose was wrinkled in anger, flashing a wide scar that dashed across the bridge of it.

Victor.

The Victor.

His Victor.

All the puzzle pieces fit together now, fuzzy memories now clear.

“At least you tried to save her.” Victor said leaning over the edge of the bathtub, turning the faucet off. “I didn’t get that luxury.”

His head pounded at the comment. The memories easily supplied now. That stinging emptiness as he dragged his body onto the lawn.

Why did he do that to his baby?

“Don’t try to make this about you.” Tate snapped. He hurriedly wiped the tears from his cheeks but he was still crying, he hadn’t even realized he never stopped.

Victor lulled his head to the side, hands idly moving through the draining bathtub water.

“If it was about me, I’d still be in the basement. This is about you, Tate. It always has been and it always will be.” He said easily.

Tate didn’t know what to do. He wanted to lunge at him for the statement but it was true, painfully so.

“My girlfriend just died, okay? Can’t I get like a moment to...y’know, cope?” Tate said.

Victor stood up, opening the bathroom door and gesturing to it.

“Un-fuckin’-likely. Last time you ‘coped’ you burned a man alive and shot up 15 kids. Now your girlfriend killed herself over you. What’s your body count asshole? You got me for starters, then those kids, the last dudes here, then those home intruders, now here’s the cherry. What could’ve saved you died.” Victor said.

“Vic- I’m so sorry- please-“

“Don’t fucking ‘Vic’ me.” Victor said. “You’re only sorry because it hurts! Guess what asshole! Everything hurts! Maybe I would’ve OD’d in a gutter if I wasn’t for you but at least I wouldn’t have to hear your undeserving sniveling!”

“If you’re only here to yell at me-“ Tate tried again

“Shut up! I’m here to help you get your fucking replacement outta here so her parents don’t find out and ruin everything!” Vic yelled “more than you already did.”

Tate tasted metal in his mouth. He wanted to gut him, he wanted him to choke on his own blood for the way he just talked about Violet, what he said about him. He also wanted to kiss him, he wanted to see if his memories were true on how he tasted like black licorice and menthols. He wanted to taste his blood while he kissed the cuts better.

Fucking hell, his wires were definitely crossed.

“Get her, come on.” Victor said.

Tate shook his head, he shouldn’t be thinking about this while he had Violet’s body in his arms.

Victor disappeared down the hallway, whistling as he left.

Tate scrambled up from the tub, pulling Violet into his arms. Tears had stained her cheeks, when had she cried?

Water dripped off him as he followed Victor, Violet heavy in his arms.

“You’ll put her in the crawlspace. No one goes down there.” Victor instructed, throwing the basement door open.

He sighed, lumbering down the stairs, eyes of the house upon him. The basement was his least favorite place, it made his skin crawl. He watched as Victor expertly navigated the corridors, not so much as flinching from the growls from the shadows.

“Why are you helping me?” Tate asked “why are you back? You already made your stance on me pretty clear.”

“I’m not back.” Victor said flicking the hatch to the crawlspace open. “I’m helping Violet and Violet alone.”

The crawlspace was God awful, it was dank and dark, smelled of complete shit.

There was a drop off, he could leave her there, but she’d be alone. She deserved a proper burial.

Tate paused, laying her gently against the concrete. He cradled her head, stroking over her hair.

“Do- do you hate me? Because I let you die?” Tate asked.

Victor stiffened as he looked down at Tate.

“I hate what you became after I died.” Victor said kneeling next to her. “I guess, I liked how she was changing you, like you could’ve been yourself again.”

“Did you ever love me?” Tate whispered, not knowing who the question was for. Perhaps it was for Violet, perhaps for Victor.

“I could have.” Victor said, voice soft, uncertain.

Tate’s hand held Victor’s freckled cheek. He looked over the face he never knew he missed so much. His chest felt like it was strangling itself when he touched him, how unusually soft he was, so feminine and masculine at the same time.

For a moment Victor leaned into his touch, eyes sliding shut. But as quickly as the moment came he pulled away.

“I said I hate you, creep. I helped you hide your girlfriend now don’t ever come down here again.” Victor said. “Fucking hurry, or whatever. She’ll be awake soon.”

Tate pulled his hand into his lap. Of course, how could he forget Violet.

His throat felt like it was going to collapse as he scrambled to get himself together and leave Victor behind.

All these years they could’ve been together, if only Tate remembered, if only Victor came up from where he was hiding.

He was Violet’s, he loved her and only her. Victor was a part of his past, though he couldn’t help but wonder what would’ve been if they were together.

No.

He loved Violet, no one else.

He made his way to her bedroom, taking a deep breath before opening the door.

He sighed as he entered, Violet was soundly asleep. Good. Now he just had to wait for her to wake up.

Chapter Text

Violet stared at her computer screen, tears welled over her eyes as she read the article. Nothing seemed real.

That house, her family, her goddamn dad, now even Tate. They all were twisted up, all mangled, all evil.

She was alone.

She mindlessly scanned the names of the poor kids murdered, the article seemed endless with the list of children, all class photos of each student on display.

At the bottom of the page was a brief explanation of what was known about what happened before the massacre. There was little reason, no citing or sources, just the “bonus fact” that a young man, a fellow student of Westfield High, was found on the front lawn of the house as the SWAT team came for Tate.

His name was Victor Sinclair, he had no school photo to make her heart twist further. His cause of death was suicide.

Just simply suicide.

The young man was found on her front lawn, the day of Tate’s massacre and he was just a fucking cliff note.

God if he died there too, did Tate know him? Could she ask him about Tate? What was he to him?

She slapped her laptop shut, breath heaving as she bit back tears. She needed her mom.

Violet rushed out of her room, sweeping down the stairs and into the kitchen to find her mother, only for Constance Langdon to be standing in her kitchen.

“So you finally figured it out, huh?” Constance asked blowing a bit of smoke her way.

“I, I can’t believe it.” Violet admitted.

“It’s hard, I know. You’ll get used to it over time.” She comforted hollowly, eyes scanning over the countertop.

Silence fell over them, Violet wiped tears from her eyes.

“I want you to talk to my medium, Billie Dean Howard. She’s the real deal y’know.” Constance said, patting her shoulder in reassurance.

Violet rolled her eyes.

Sure, why not? First her boyfriend is a mass murdering ghost, now mediums? What’s next? Aliens?

“If she’s what you say she is, she needs to get me in touch with someone.” Violet mumbled, following Constance out the back door.

“Oh? Who? I don’t think she can conjure some silver screen idol for you.” Constance said, fumbling to unlock her door.

“No. I wanna talk to Victor Sinclair. The article on Tate mentioned him, it said he committed suicide on the lawn. Did you know him?” She asked, innocently enough.

Constance jerked around, eyes full of fury like she’d spit on her child’s grave.

“I have not heard that filthy little homo’s name in nearly twenty years, and I liked to keep it that way. You will not mention him again in my presence again, young lady.” She snapped.

Violet recoiled, making herself small as she followed Constance into her house.

So he was gay.

Maybe.

Constance obviously didn’t like him, perhaps it was because he was maybe gay or she just liked calling him that.

God, still nothing.

She waved a small hello to the small blonde lady who sat at Constance’s table. Constance introduces them to each other but Violet kept silent after she had snapped at her.

The medium went on to explain that Tate was troubled, that his spirit needing guidance to get to the otherside.

The woman, Billie, must’ve sensed her apprehension, as she did something.

Something strange.

Well, not as comparatively strange as finding out that your boyfriend is a dead mass shooter.

She showed her an image, a memory, of her grandmother.

 

How Violet made her way back home was a haze, all that was clear to her was that she was back in front of her sink again. Cutting. This was where, this was how she met Tate.

She dragged the razor across her wrists, the pain brought her center, she barely even flinched now, it just calmed her.

She idly cut once more, somehow it hurt less. Her breath shallowing in the numbness. She looked up in the mirror, eyes locking with her own for merely a second before she ran the razor across her throat.

Blood cascaded out from the slit.

“Don’t do it!” A voice barked out.

The voice rasped out, low, heavy, bassy enough to shake through whatever trance she was in because when she looked in the mirror once more, the cut wasn’t there.

She was fine.

Well.

Definitely not fine.

She rushed down the stairs to her father’s office. He could help, God knows she hated what he did, but, all and all he was her father, he helped people for a living.

Violet watched as his patient left his office, she stood timidly in the doorway.

“Dad.” She said quietly.

“Hey, honey.” He greeted, thankfully picking up on her tone.

Her father hugged her, something she hadn’t wanted or allowed for a long time. At that moment Violet needed it.

“I'm sorry, Daddy. It's all my fault.” Violet cried, feeling like a child again.

“What? No. No, baby. No, no, no. Your mom and I both love you very much. It's never gonna change.” He said patting her head.

He didn’t understand.

Oh, God. If he didn’t understand no one would.

Tate would.

“It's the darkness. It has me.” Violet continued to cry, accepting that this surface level comfort would suffice.

“I have you. Baby, I have you. I have you.” He comforted further.

Violet allowed herself to sob.

 

It took her awhile but she realized who she needed to talk to. She needed someone who knew exactly what she was dealing with. She never thought she’d find a friend in Leah but turns out they were all they had for a situation like this.

They met at the empty pool again, it seemed to be a favorite of Leah’s and Violet could say it was growing on her too.

“I owe you an apology.” Violet muttered

“It attacked you too, didn't it?” Leah asked, barely able to turn her head to Violet.

“No.” She said. “But, I don't know what's real anymore. I feel like I'm losing my mind.”

Leah turned to her, pulling off her sunglasses.

“The devil is real. And he's not a little red man with horns and a tail. He can be beautiful. 'Cause he's a fallen angel, and he used to be God's favorite.” Leah said, her eyes of a broken woman. “Have you read the Book of Revelation?”

“No.” Violet said, recoiling.

“In heaven there's this woman in labor, howling in pain. And there's a- there's a red dragon with seven heads waiting so he can eat her baby. But the archangel Michael- he hurls the dragon down to Earth. From that moment on, the red dragon hates the woman and declares war on her and all of her children. That's us.” Leah said.

They fell silent.

“Uh, yeah, things have gotten pretty weird for me.” Leah spike again.

“Me too.” Violet admitted. “I can't eat. I can't sleep.”

“The nights are the worst. I get four hours if I'm lucky. That's only with pills.” Leah said shaking her head.

Violet looked to her, pills? She never thought of that.

“What kind of pills? Can I have one?” Violet whispered.

Leah pressed the whole bottle into her hands.

 

After the pool violet made her way to school. She stood in the library, somewhere she’d only passed through before, now it had a whole new weight.

She stood before the plaque that read off all the victims of the massacre. So many students. If it happened right then she could’ve been one of them, they all had lives, families too. And Tate, her Tate, slaughtered them.

She moved silently through the library. Everything was different from the photos. She couldn’t place where they were but maybe that was for the best.

“They were over by the sofa.” A voice rang out.

Violet turned on her heels to see a man in a wheelchair. His eyes and lips disapproving.

“Used to be a row of tables. I get four or five of you sickos a year. Usually freshmen.” He said in utter disdain. “What, are you a transfer?”

Now it all made sense. He was the teacher that survived the library.

“You're that teacher. You're like a hero.” She said, timid. She was looking in the face of a man who Tate had shot with the intent to kill.

“Now you know what heroes look like.” He said with a sneer.

He began to roll away. Violet felt god awful. She needed answers and she definitely wasn’t one of those weirdo kids.

“Wait. I'm sorry. I'm not like those other kids. I know Tate. I mean, I know his mom. We moved next door to her.” Violet explained. “Did you know him? Before he did this?”

He turned around, now more willing to answer giving the circumstance.

“I knew his face. Didn't seem like a bad kid actually. He was in here a lot. Kind of thoughtful. Liked to read. Byron, books on birds, random stuff.” The teacher explained, eyes not leaving the ground.

“Was he bullied or something? Did he even know the kids he shot? - I just want to know why he did it.” She said, hands wrapped tightly around her messenger bag.

“Me too.” He dismissed.

He turned away once more.

“Why are you bullshitting me?!” Violet snapped.

The man whirled around to look at her once more.

“If the bullet had been an inch to the right it would have missed my spine, and I would have walked out of here. Might have even been able to stop him. An inch higher, it would have killed me. Sometimes shit just happens.” He said.

“Good people don't just have a bad day and start shooting people.” Violet said rolling her eyes.

“Maybe he wasn't a good person.” He said.

Silence fell between them. Violet pushed her hair from her eyes a took a deep breath.

“Who was Victor Sinclair? Did he know Tate? Did you know him?” Violet asked, maybe she could answer that question.

The librarian looked at her. Anger in his eyes.

“I-I asked Tate’s mom and she, she didn’t say anything, and if he died that day too why isn’t he on the plaque?” She said, trying not to stumble over her justification.

The librarian paused.

“Y’know, none of the other sickos ask about him. You really are a special creep.” He said dismissively. “If you wanna add it to your little blog, fine, I’ll humor you. Victor was a good kid, he was always in here with Tate, that’s the only time I ever noticed the kid. He died because of Tate, just like all those other kids. Now get the hell outta my library.”

 

Violet was going somewhere she never thought she’d return. She was going back to the basement. She managed to slip past her parents and she sat upon the basement steps.

Did everyone that died there stay there? Was Victor there too?

What even was the kid? Was he nice? Was he violent? Did he make Tate do it? She didn’t even know what he looked like, and yet she was weighing her whole world on him.

She was crying again, it felt like that was all she did now. She hated it.

She hated this world, she hated her house, she hated everything.

A loud “crash” from the dark of the basement made her jump.

What was that?...who was that?

“Who’s there?!” She called out, wiping her eyes. “Victor?! Is that you?”

Silence fell in the basement for a brief moment before the shuffle of footsteps picked up.

“Goddamnit! Who’s there?!” She yelled into the blackness of the basement.

No reply.

She began to cry again, maybe she was going crazy, maybe this was all her fault.

Violet nearly shrieked when she saw something move out of the darkness and into her line of sight.

A fat, long, brown rat, patting towards her.

She sighed in relief at the creature. Sure it was a gross old rat, but compared to her day, she was relieved to see the little guy.

The rat stopped, contently chewing on whatever crumb he had grabbed.

What did make Violet shriek was the long, pale, spindly hand, encrusted with blood, reach for the rat out of the darkness.

The hand scooped up the rat before yanking itself back into the darkness.

“Show yourself!” Violet yelled, already holding her sneaker in hand. A poor weapon for the apparent undead but, hey, it’s what she had.

For a bone chilling moment, there was nothing, not even Violet’s breath as she was holding it in fear.

Then.

From the dark shuffled a teenager, all gangly limbs, his face gaunt, on his slumped shoulders sat the rat.

The young man stared down at her from his looming stature, head tilted to the side. His face seemed saddened, his green eyes summed behind shaggy black hair.

“You’re Victor, aren’t you?” She whispered.

The boy nodded.

How meek he was standing before her, head lulling to the side to nuzzle the rat. His clothing was tattered, hands coated with dried blood folded awkwardly.

“You look different than what I thought you would.” Violet said.

Victor said nothing.

“Did Tate kill you?” She asked, getting up from her spot on the stairs.

Victor stood silent.

She walked around him as he stood still, green eyes following her.

“Did he cut your tongue out or something? Why aren’t you saying anything?” She demanded “I’ve had a hard fucking day! Why can’t you just answer me? My boyfriend turns out to be a dead mass murderer, my family is falling apart, I’m gonna have a younger sibling I never wanted, so why can’t you just cooperate?!”

The rat scurried away as she yelled, jumping off his pant leg and into the shadows.

Victor swallowed, turning his head down to her.

“What do you want to know?” Victor said.

His voice was bassy, rich and deep like black velvet, it was out of place for such a slender and barely there being.

Violet paused, now that she was faced with the opportunity she couldn’t muster a thought. How did he know Tate? How did he die? Why didn’t anyone know anything about him?

“Who were you?” She asked.

Victor’s vacant eyes focused, he straightened himself.

“I was you.” Victor said.

“Bullshit!” Violet snapped back.

“Oh? You think you’re different? You’re not. Tate has a type. Tate likes you broken, likes you corrupted, because it makes him feel like maybe he isn’t alone, that he isn’t the monster that he really is.” He said walking closer, his large height now menacing. “He’ll treat you like you’re the only person alive, like you’re a gift from God. He thinks if he finds someone good, it’ll make him good in return.”

Tears of anger and disbelief prickled in her eyes. She tried to meet his looming height but she was finding herself boxed against the stairs.

“You’re lying.” She said, wiping eyes.

“I have no reason to. I’m dead. I’m telling you this so you don’t end up dead. Trust me, if you stay with Tate, you will.” Victor said.

Violet shook her head, she stumbled only slightly as she turned to get onto the stairs. She scrambled and ran.

She slammed into her room, letting herself sob in the comfort of her own room. She tried uselessly to wipe the tears from her eyes but she couldn’t help it.

When she looked around her room, upon her chalkboard was a scraggly looking “I love you.”

Tate.

Chapter Text

Victor’s hands shook as he dragged the stolen razor over his skin. It’d been so long since he had an actual object to cut himself with, up until then he’d only had his fingers. His bare hands to tear open his chest, to strangle himself with his guts, to feel his very heart beat in his bloodied palms. His hands seemed forever encrusted with blood, fingernails dulled from scratching and tearing skin apart.

The damage healed almost instantly as he sliced deeper and deeper. Each time he watched with sick fascination as layers of skin peeled back then melded together.

There was a rustling in the basement, initially he dismissed it as the new spirits getting used to the house.

“Vic?!” A voice called out, Tate’s voice. “Vic where are you?!”

He shouldn’t have exposed himself to Tate, he should have let him suffer. He shouldn’t have watched him try to save her, only reminding him or how Tate did nothing to save him.

He clamped his hands over his mouth, shuffling to the slotted door of the water closet, just past the water heater.

“Victor! Please where are you?!” Tate called again, his voice was weary now, tearful almost. “Baby please I need to talk to you!”

Tate paced around, wiping his eyes, huffing and gasping between cries.

“I need to see you! Please come out! You’re the only one who’ll understand!” Tate cried, “I did something, I did something bad, something I can’t fix. Please for the love of God I need you right now.”

“Go away, Tate.” Victor whispered.

Tate let out a worldless cry of exasperation.

“Fine! I don’t need you!” Tate yelled into the darkness, almost exactly where Victor was seated.
Victor sighed in relief, crawling further into the darkness behind the water heater.

Quickly he pulled his shirt off, dragging the razor across his chest, directly over his heart.

He bit his fingers almost in half trying muffle his cry, the house was getting full and he couldn’t have anyone finding his spot.

 

The blood coating the walls was dark and black, result of years and years of pain splayed across the ceiling. It’s not like anyone would want his spot anyway.

God he was tired, so tired. He just wanted to sleep, wrapped around Tate, pressing his face into Tate’s bleached blonde curls. He wanted his touch again, his smell, his weight against him.

It’d been almost twenty years since he’d seen his face, until today. Victor felt every one of those days pass by without him. His skin still screamed from where he had touched him.

Victor had destroyed himself every way imaginable, he’d slit his own throat, he had felt the inside of his small intestine. Still nothing, nothing, compared to the pain of pulling away from Tate’s touch.

He couldn’t help crying. He was lonely, so goddamn lonely. The house was packed to the gills but the man he loved was dead, gone, replaced with a monster who has replaced Victor in turn.

Tate was still so beautiful. Vic missed the was his blonde curls framed his face, it was almost angelic. His lips were still pink and smooth, Victor’s body ached at the memory, the guttural longing the old memories produced. His eyes had changed, they were lifeless again, like when they first met, though Victor could’ve sworn there was a fleeting moment where the spark, the look that made Victor feel like the only thing on earth, had flashed in his eyes.

He sliced his arm again, something sickly normal to him. His mind wandered to the memory of Tate’s mouth lapping over his wrist, taking his bad blood away from him, how he told him to think about them.

He wanted to die, he was in a world beyond him, he was trapped in a hell of mundane tortures. He wished he could be blissfully unaware of his death like some of those wandering around the house. He wished he felt nothing, he was just in pain, he was sore, even coke had stopped helping. It just sent him spinning up and crashing even more painfully back down.

The room was so dark now, hidden away from the rest of the house, away from the new prying eyes. That fucking bitch kept hanging around the basement, whatever her boring name was, those freaks who worshipped the halloween killer were down there too.

He wanted to be in the house again, away from his personal cell he’d made for himself. He wanted to feel the touch of sunlight, the breeze on his skin, he wanted to eat, to smoke cigarettes on the back porch with Tate by his side, flicking their ashes into Constance’s flowers. Victor couldn't help the chuckle that escaped him.

Perhaps he was in hell, to watch the man he love wrap himself further in his cloak of darkness, to love a girl, to forget him. He deserved it after all, wasting his life on drugs, a burden on his father, another bad memory for his younger brother.

If he was smart he would’ve left like his mom, but he wasn’t smart, and he was a coward. Even if he did leave his family he wouldn’t have left without Tate, who’d only drag him further to the bottom.

He did leave his family though, he left with no note, no warning, just nothing. He didn’t mean to, he wanted to go home, he wanted to see Damien again, he wanted to see his dad. He didn’t know what became of them, did Damien end up like him? Was his dad still alive or did all those hours and triple shifts finally catch up to him?

The world had changed, leaving him behind, he was a useless relic. Not even his family, his flesh and blood had stayed the same.

He was sobbing now, not caring who heard. Let them know he was suffering, that he was forever a dumb teenager in love, broken hearted and crying over a boy. No matter how evil and wicked Tate may be he loved him.

He just was going to sleep, not even wanting to think. Not wanting to remember what made him love Tate. How he still loved him. How he would always love him. With a few brutal blows victor finally slammed is head into the water heater hard enough to pass out, he didn’t want to wake up tomorrow.

Chapter Text

1994

 

Depeche Mode’s “Violator” came blasting out of Tate’s speakers. The two had put it on just a while ago, Victor would need to flip the tape in just a moment, but in that moment he was busy straddling Tate’s lap.

How dangerously close they were, the moonlight silhouetting each other’s features, hiding the fear of crossing an unsteady bridge. It was finally happening.

Victor could feel Tate’s breath against his lips as they stared up at one another, his hands secured at Victor’s waist where he was straddling Tate’s own.

If they leapt, there would be no turning back. The pair were definitely not blushing virgins, but this moment was more intimate than any touch. Nothing could compare to the way Tate’s black eyes stared at Victor like he was the only thing left in the world, and that very thing was his and his alone.

With shaky hands and equally shaky breath, Victor pulled his shirt off, exposing himself in the most vulnerable way.

Tate had seen Victor shirtless before, yet in this light it was completely different. He was fragile yet strong, soft and still rigid. Victor felt like the women in movies when they dropped their robe, exposing themselves in a sense of confidence, yet remaining open for their lover.

Tate smiled, hands gently smoothing over the textured scars of his chest. Tate’s dark eyes glimmered up at him, never breaking eye contact as he left open mouth kisses over his chest.

Victor guided his head back up, kissing him deeply, sighing as Tate licked into his mouth.

Tate broke the kiss to scramble back only a touch, pulling his sweater off and tossing it to the other side of the room. Victor’s eyes widened, trying to take in as much as he could. He was thin but still soft, he had a thin layer of healthy and happy baby fat still clinging to his frame.

“Tiddies…” Victor muttered, hand trailing down over Tate’s chest.

Tate’s eyes squinted in annoyance.

“Did you just…?” Tate said, looking him over.

Victor snorted a laugh, shaking his head.

“Relax, princess.” Victor cooed smoothing his hands over his neck. “Relax.”

Victor cradled Tate’s head against his chest, his knee grinding against Tate’s now apparent hard on.

Tate kissed down his chest, muffling his moans as he bit down. Victor continued to rock against him, straddling Tate’s right thigh.

“You’re perfect, y’know? Fuckin’ perfect. You’re so warm.” Victor said, rolling his hips into him.

Without warning Tate flipped them over, Victor landing flat on his back. Victor let out a breathy laugh, one final defiant pass of his knee over Tate’s groin.

One of Tate’s wide, calloused hands gathered both of Victor’s slender wrists. His other smoothed lower, fumbling with Victor’s belt buckle and fly only slightly before unceremoniously pulling his pants off.

“Hey! You gonna pay for those if they ripped?” Victor asked, leaning his head up to meet Tate’s.

“Calm down. I’ll buy you three pairs if it means you take your boxers off.” Tate said.

“Alright, princess.” Victor laughed, breaking out of his hold to shimmy out of his boxers.

His hardening dick bobbed out to lay flat against his stomach, head smeared with a pearl of pre come.

Victor smiled as he tugged on the belt loops of Tate’s pants, Tate took the hint and shuffled back to pull them off. He moved back to him again, drawing Victor into another kiss.

Victor sighed into his soft pink mouth. Tate’s wide and warm hands cradling his jawline. Victor’s long spindly fingers slid down between them, slipping into Tate’s boxers, wrapping around Tate’s dick, thumb swiping over the slick head.

Tate shuddered against him, shallowly thrusting into his hand. One of Tate’s hands grabbed at Victor’s curls, tugging them apart.

“Lube.” Victor panted out “We need lube idiot.”

“Top drawer.” Tate said nodding to the nightstand by the bed.

Victor pulled his hand from Tate’s boxers. He grabbed the half used bottle of lube that sat right up top of everything else.

“Damn, used a lot huh? Do you think about me?” Victor teased, cocking his head to the side.

“Always.” He said before pressing a kiss down his neck. “You know connie used most of it before i stole it” Tate said smirking.

Tate sat back on his heels, roughly dragging his boxers to his thighs. Victor absentmindedly lapped Tate’s pre cum off his fingers.

As Tate squirted the lube onto his fingers, rubbing them to get it warm Victor took a moment to appreciate Tate. His eyes were hazy, the pitch blackness of them softened. A flush ran down from his face to his chest. Tate’s free hand held Victor’s waist, thumb switching over his hip bone.

“Whatcha staring at?” Tate asked.

“I’m just lookin’ at you.” Victor said, his words almost slurring together.

Tate smiled, leaning down again to kiss him. His fingers circled Victor’s entrance, making him hiss. Carefully, damn near delicately, he pressed his first finger in, knuckle by knuckle. Victor sighed against Tate’s lips, head jerking to the side, breaking the kiss.

“Does it hurt?” Tate whispered, shallowly thrusting his finger.

Victor laughed, breathy and high, rolling his hips for more friction.

“Not in a bad way.” He said shaking his head. “Keep going.”

Tate nodded, setting a steady pace, experimentally crooking his finger. Victor canted his hips to meet with Tate’s hand, his own hands latched around his neck. Warm lust pooled in his stomach, his breathing more labored now, clutching Tate closer. He had missed this feeling, what it meant to get fucked, to be touched, to be nothing but the center of attention.

The music almost overwhelmingly surrounded Victor as Tate did, each note, each touch, seeping into his bones. He felt his heartbeat synch with the song for a moment, only to speed when Tate laved over his throat.

“Can I add another?” He asked, eyes blown wide.

“Yes, please, yes.” Victor said.

Carefully he pulled his finger out, Victor whined at being empty. Tate quickly slid two fingers back into him, Victor couldn’t help the low groan if satisfaction. Tate had said before that victors voice had enough bass to shake the house, little did they know it was very true.

Tate thrust with more follow through now, understanding that this is what he needed. He scissored his fingers back and forth, accidentally rushing over Victor’s prostate. A gasp ripped from him at the feeling, legs clenching around Tate.

“The fuck was that?” Tate asked, eyebrows drawn tight.

“My prostate, genius. It’s like a girl’s g-spot. You just gotta-“ He cut himself off with a moan, Tate rolling his fingers over it back and forth with a self satisfied smile.

“I know what to do with that. Don’t you worry.” He said.

“Don’t get too cocky, not breaking any records.” Victor said, grin lazily rising.

Tate thrusted harder at the taunt, biting down on the freckle dotted skin of where his neck and shoulder met. Victor leaned into it, breath and legs shaking. He pressed a third finger in with ease, stretching and curling them.

Victor’s grip tightened in Tate’s hair, tugging him into a kiss to muffle a moan. He felt full, something he’d missed so much. He was getting impatient with the thought of how Tate would stretch him further. He needed his warmth, his touch, he needed more and Tate was too hesitant to give it to him.

“Please, fuck me. Goddamn, you’re taking to damn long!” He said, pulling back.

Tate nodded, he liked when victor told him what to do. He leaned back on his heels taking his fingers out and leaving vic completely untouched. Victor whined at the loss of his weight and heat on him. Luckily he didn’t have to wait too long before Tate pushed in, far too slowly for Victor’s liking. He tried to urge him in with his ankles. He was thick, thicker than most guys he’d slept with, the stretch and burn lighting sparks up his spine.

Still he moaned at the feeling of him finally inside him, even better than all those nights he’d imagine how he’d feel. The only problem was how gentle he had become. His touches were now featherlight, just occasionally passing over his chest, resting carefully at his hips. Tate left careful kisses up his throat, pressing one to his jawline.

He thrust shallowly, only rolling his hips barely, just barely brushing his prostate. It was far too careful and delicate for Victor’s style.

“Everything okay?” Tate whispered.

Victor rolled his eyes. He had to take matters into his own hands.

“No. I told you to fuck me. Thought you were on your period princess, but it turns out you fuck like your mom.” Victor said.

Tate’s eyes grew wide, breath caught, visibly angry. His eyes then hooded in rage, lips curled to a snarl. Before Victor could say anything else Tate spat at him, straight in the face.

Victor took a moment, catching his breath. The rage in his eyes made his heart stop for one, perfect moment. He wiped his face off before flipping them over in one fluid motion.

Tate’s grip on his hips turned bruising, eyes still flat black with anger. Victor lifted himself just enough to make Tate’s and his own breath catch, then coming back down. He quickly found a brutal pace for himself, his breathing heavy, his stomach twisting in knots of pleasure. Tate groaned at each shift of his hips, unintelligible curses falling out, head thrown back and writhing as if he was possessed.

“I'm gonna fuck the life out of you princess, since you need so much help.” Victor almost gasped.

He couldn’t blame him. He loved the feeling of him inside his guts, pressing against everything, making room like Tate’s dick is the only importance.

One hand braced on Tate’s chest for support, his nails digging into his already angry red skin. In turn Tate’s free hand slid up his body, Victor leaned into the touch, but it moved too quickly, only to settle on Victor’s bruised throat.

Tate gave a light and quick squeeze to his throat, he cried out in return.

“H-Harder.” Victor pleaded, baring his throat as much as he could with Tate’s hand wrapped around it.

Tate pressed harder, his hips thrusting up to meet Victor in time with his bounces. Victor couldn’t help the strangled noise that was flung from him, stars dancing in the corner of his eyes. He adjusted his hips ever so slightly, Tate’s next thrust into him left him howling, unabashed and not caring if the whole fucking neighborhood heard him.

His thrusts were getting sporadic, his grip tightening and loosening around Victor’s throat. Victor leaned down, biting down on the column of his throat, gasping and crying into his skin. Tate didn’t try to muffle himself, his moans strained and raspy as Victor picked up his pace. Sweat and Victor’s slick cock smeared between the pair’s stomach and chest. Tate hoped constance could hear them, he fucking prayed she could.

“Mine, all mine.” Tate growled out, punctuating his point with a quick snap of his hips. “No one else gets you like this. You’re mine!”

“Yours” Victor stopped to gasp “Forever.” Victor said, pulling back until he was sitting upright again.

Once he righted himself he propped one hand behind himself and raised until Tate was almost out of him only to take him to the hilt once more. Tate grabbed his neck tighter.

“Fuck, baby I’m close.” Tate said.

Victor choked out something that resembled “me too.” Somehow his voice had gotten even deeper, like gravel in a blender, he was destroyed.

Tate was a sight to be seen, head thrown back in ecstasy, blonde little ringlet curls plastered to his forehead with sweat, those pretty rose petal lips swollen to the point they almost bled.

Victor wrapped his hand around himself, pumping in time with each roll of his hips and thrust of Tate’s. He gritted his teeth to keep himself quiet despite Tate’s reckless moans. Tate was desperate now, his hand on his waist leaving crescent nail marks. Quickly Tate sat up, wrapping his arm around Victor, bringing them flushed against one another. Tate quickly kissed Victor, if you could call it kissing, just open mouthed, sloppy and gasping with way too much tongue.

The adjustment of position tipped the scales, Victor whimpered as he came, his vision hazy as he shot across their chests. He gripped Tate tighter, riding him through his orgasm, gasping at the feeling of him coming inside him, warm and slick.

Tate cursed against his lips, panting as he came down. Victor wrapped around him tightly, his arms draped over his shoulders.

Tate’s pulled out as Victor readjusted himself on Tate’s lap. They caught their breathes, heaving against one another. Tate clunked his head down upon Vic’s shoulder, his hand loosened from his throat and joined the other wrapped around Victor. Victor sighed and rest his head on Tate’s.

“Wow.” Tate said.

“Uh… yeah.” Victor said, hands gently tracing up and down Tate’s back, feeling each notch of his spine. “You alright?”

“I’m pretty fantastic. Sorry about you know, spitting on you.” He said. “Are you okay?”

“I’m pretty fantastic too. And that’s okay, it was hot. I’m sorry I said you fuck like your mom.” He said shaking his head. “and hey tate? Next time use a fucking condom, were not animals.” Vic said in a joking tone but they both knew how serious he was.

Tate raised his head in confusion, scrunched his nose but ultimately decided to leave it alone and rest his head on Victor’s chest. Tate kissed over the bruises there, tender and careful.

They sat there in silence for a moment, the whirring of the AC and the humming of the street lamps outside the only sound.

“Christ. I think I put my head on some of your cum.” Tate grumbled, “I think it’s in my hair.”

Victor threw his head back in laughter. Happy, cackling laughter.

“I’m not joking! It’s disgusting! We’re both sticky and gross.” He said pulling back and gesturing to them. “We gotta shower.”

Victor quelled his laughter, taking deep breaths.

“I ain’t showering for shit. We can do that in the morning, I’m exhausted. And you, get to bring me a towel….princess.” He said getting off Tate and stretching out onto the bed. “It’s not gonna hurt you any, I’ve had a lot more cum on me in a lot worse places, I’m still kicking! Actually I think I heard somewhere that it could be used as a teeth whitener!”

Tate turned to him, small smile on his lips. He rested his hand on his thigh, eyes panning over him.

“You really are disgusting.” Tate said, unable to keep his face straight.

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever, Langdon. You wouldn’t have me any other way.” He said. “You’re the one who decided to blow your load in me.”

“Yeah. I really wouldn’t.” Tate said, closing the gap between them. “For the record, you’re the one who asked for it.”

They kissed easily, their rhythm in time with one another, knowing exactly what the other needed. Tate’s fingers trailed over his jaw, tracing over the forming bruises, Victor gasped, the carefulness much more tender.

Victor broke the kiss, spindly hands gently pushing Tate back.

“Go on, baby. I’m tired of being sticky.” He said, pressing one last kiss to the side of his mouth.

Tate and Victor exchanged one more smile before Tate got off the bed to retrieve his boxers, then disappeared down the hall, leaving Victor alone.

Victor never liked being alone in Tate’s house, he felt eyes on him, even in the dead of night he felt stares.

Before Victor’s mind could wander further Tate returned, towel in hand, eyes still glimmering. Victor started to prop himself up but Tate just shook his head.

“Let me take care of you.” He said gently wiping over his chest.

He proceeded to wipe him down, Victor insistent on sneaking a few kisses in for payment, which did slow down the process but in that moment, in the cover of the night, they had forever.

Once they both were relatively clean, Victor had found his tattered briefs then getting into bed.

“You really need new underwear” Tate said as he pulled Victor into a tight hug, while victor wrapped around each unreasonably long limb around him.

They fell asleep like that, happy, somewhat sore, and thoroughly tired. Victor could stay like this forever.

“Forever” he whispered just quiet enough tate couldn't hear.

“Forever”

Chapter Text

Tate was glad Vic was his friend. Victor was different from the rest, he wasn’t full of shit like everyone else. He was honest, not exactly virtuous but hey, neither was he.

Victor sat in the corner of his room, cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth, not really caring if he got ash on himself.

He was reading Frankenstein, or “The Modern Prometheus” as it was originally named, Victor said so. Tate liked horror, he liked monsters, but apparently the book was different, Vic would give him the rundown after a couple chapters.

Tate should’ve been reading his own book, dinner had just ended, the both of them were tired and ready for bed, their conversation had died down, but Tate found himself distracted by Victor.

The thing was Vic wasn’t even doing anything, he was just...reading and smoking. Tate couldn’t take his eyes off him, his sharp features drawn tight in focus as he read, green eyes scanning the page, Tate wanted Victor to look at him that way, with focus and adoration.

What?! No. No. What?!

Tate did not want that, Tate was not gay. Especially not for Victor. Victor was Vic! His friend, his only friend at that, he couldn’t go messing that up. Not to mention, Victor definitely had his share of issues, even if Tate was gay, which he wasn’t, he couldn’t possibly be into him.

“Hey-hey! Princess!” Vic said waving his hand. “Could you stop spacing and pass my smokes?”

Tate shook his head and gritted his teeth at the dumb nickname. He reached over the bed and grabbed Victor’s pack of menthols, throwing them directly at his face.

“Really feeling the love tonight.” Victor grumbled, putting out his cigarette.

Tate rolled his eyes.

“I don’t know how you smoke those.” Tate said shaking his head, flipping through his book, pretending to be interested in it.

“It’s an acquired taste. It keeps fuckers like you from stealing my cigarettes.” Victor said pointing his unlit cigarette at him.

Victor patted himself, sighing when he realized he left his lighter on the bed. He shut his book, got up and sat on the bed. He flicked the lighter and took a drag, the cherry of the cigarette burning at Tate as he stared at him.

“I wasn’t about to ask for my lighter, going off how delicately you passed my cigs.” Victor said blowing smoke at Tate. “What’s up with you, you’ve been really pissy tonight. You on the rag?”

Tate shoved him, Victor only shoved him back. He took Victor’s cigarette from his mouth, much to Victor’s dismay. He took a deep breath, only coughing slightly, fucking menthols.

“That does not get easier.” He grimaced, passing the cigarette back.

“Not for a long time. But what’s up? You wanna talk about it?” Victor asked, folding his legs, smoke pouring out of his mouth with each word.

The smoke made a wreath around him, like a shadow box, eyes burning through the haze.

“I think I need a girlfriend.” Tate admitted.

Victor laughed. Then he leaned forward, realizing Tate was being serious.

“Why? You hate absolutely everyone, even me! Is there even a girl you have a crush on?” Victor said throwing his hands over his head.

“I don’t hate you, I even kinda tolerate you sometimes. But it’s not like that, it’s just…I’m a teenage boy, I’m almost eighteen and I’ve never had a girlfriend. I’m… I have teenage boy urges.” He said, eyes fluttering to the ground.

“Tate Langdon you’re not telling me you’re a virgin are you?” Victor asked, leaning in closer.

“What? No! No. Definitely not.” He said, pulling back.

“You jerk off?” Victor inquired further, damn near on top of him now.

“Yeah, who doesn’t?” He said propping himself on his elbows.

“Then you’re fine.” Victor said sitting back.

“Well what if I want one?” Tate said straightening himself.

“Then go get one. You’re hot, I bet you could have any girl you wanted, they’d be awfully lucky.” Vic shrugged, offering his cigarette to him. “Don’t tell me you like Tracy Goodale” victor laughed to himself, “y’'know class rings fall out her vag if she jumps too much.”

Tate laughed, punching him in the arm. Victor joined his laughter, grabbing his hands to prevent any more sluggings.

“Problem is that I don’t want just any girl, or even one in particular. Even then, I don’t think I have it in me. I’m all fucked up, y’know, no girl wants that.” He said shaking his head. He took the cigarette offered to him.

“Tate, like I said before, any girl would be lucky to have you. Sure, everyone has baggage but I think it’d be a nice change of pace. You’re thoughtful, when you care you care, you’ve also got nice lips.” Victor said taking the cigarette back.

Tate felt his face warm.

“Lips? LIPS? Who cares about that shit?” He asked, dismissing the compliments.

“I dunno, girls I guess.” He said rolling his eyes, ashing his cigarette on Tate’s shitty old ashtray they stole together from the diner down the street.

“Hey...I have a question, don’t take offense or anything.” Tate said.

Victor righted himself from his slouched position. His eyes turned to slits as he looked him over.

“I mean, say what you’re gonna say. You know I’m not one to be offended easily.” Victor said shrugging, blowing another cloud of smoke at him.

“How do you…not like girls? Like what is it like?” He asked.

The room fell silent as Victor looked down at the bed, lips pursed in thought, eyebrows knit tight. He folded his hands in his lap, cigarette still hanging in the corner of his mouth.

“Well, it’s not that I don’t think girls are pretty, or nice or any of that. I’m not revolted by women. It’s just…when I look at a girl I see like you know, something pretty like the ocean, or flowers. I can appreciate that some daisies are pretty and all that but i don’t wanna fuck a bouquet of daisies..” Victor said, his voice just a little shaky, perhaps he’d never talked about it before. “I don’t know, it’s just, I’m not wired like that. Sometimes I think it’d be easier if I was.”

Tate nodded, letting silence creep up again.

They sat that way for a couple moments, Victor flicking through his book and Tate just staring at the pattern of his comforter.

“Then, what’s it like being into to guys? Like, what do you find attractive about them?” Tate asked. Obviously Victor, the gayest of gay dudes would explain it and Tate would not have any of those things.

Tate didn’t like guys, plain and simple. He wasn’t gay, Victor was going to explain being gay and that would be that. Tate had tested those waters, not in actuality but in theory. He’d bought a couple magazines, of both varieties thank you, and it just simply didn’t work. The only guys he could get it up to were the dark haired ones, all pale and skinny, but that’s just ‘cause they kinda were sorta feminine, and that’s what he liked, feminine women.

“Well… it’s hard to pinpoint. If girls are like flowers? Guys...fuck man I’m not smart enough to come up with a metaphor for guys. Guys are just hot, okay? I like their hands, I like their voices, fuckin’ bodies, lips, legs, arms. Everything.” Victor said shaking his head.

Tate nodded. He did like Victor’s voice, he liked his hands, he liked everything about him.

“Does it ever get complicated? Not knowing if you just want to be friends or if you’re into them?” He whispered, fiddling idly with a string on his blanket.

Victor laughed, snubbing out his cigarette.

“I haven’t really had friends before you so, pretty easy. I just fuck em, that’s it.” Victor said shrugging.

Tate felt disappointment somehow, like Vic would turn to him, profess his deep undying feelings for him. Sure, whatever.

“Sorry about not being able to help you get a girlfriend. Not exactly in my realm.” Vic shrugged.

“No, it’s fine.” He said stealing a glance at him, Victor was staring straight back.

Victor smiled, wide and definitely up to something. He lunged at him, toppling Tate over, using that ungodly speed Tate didn’t understand to get on top of him, sitting on his stomach.

“Now, you’re gonna listen up, Langdon. You’re a real catch, okay? Moment you put yourself out there you’re gonna have to beat girls off ya with a stick.” Victor said poking a finger into his chest with each point he made.

Tate felt his chest tighten, his hands sweating just a bit to have him this close.

Fucking hell, he was such a creep. Why couldn’t be just be normal and not get a half chub from having his best friend pinning him down.

Tate decided to act upon Victor’s momentary smugness to flip them over. Tate boxed him in with his thighs, arms on either side of his head, one hand caught beside his head.

“I think you’re awfully optimistic there, Vic.” Tate said.

Victor shook his head, free hand brushing the curls from Tate’s eyes, tucking them back behind his ears.

“Never been one for optimism. I’m just being honest.” Victor said holding Tate’s face. His fingers dragged over his mouth, his emerald green eyes never leaving Tate’s. “Those girls’ll be so damn lucky, getting to kiss you ‘n all that.”

God, his touch was perfect, it set his skin ablaze. His weight underneath him was so pliant and fell flush against him. It’d be so easy to lean down, catch his split lip in his own, cradle his head and finally touch him.

Victor’s hands traveled over his face, holding his jawline. Pinching tates cheeks and practically poking him in the eyes.

They were close, impossibly close, damn near close enough to kiss.

What? No!

He shoved himself of Victor, scrambling off the bed. The smile fell from his face, eyes shattering.

“I-“ Tate cut victor off.

“I have to piss.” Tate snapped.

Tate rushed out of his room and down the hall to the bathroom, smacking his head against the closed door.

Idiot. Fucking idiot.

He paced around the bathroom, smacking his head against his hands and grumbling. He turned to the sink and splashed cold water over his face.

He was not gay, he was not gay, he was not gay.

He was just confused on what it meant to have a friend, that’s all. He never had a friend like that before, he probably wouldn’t have one like him again if he kept fucking up.

It wasn’t like he didn’t jerk off to Victor, his pretty fucking face, how his legs seemed to stretch forever in the short shorts he wore, his stupid freckles that dotted down his face and over his shoulders, that big ole scar across the bridge of his nose.

It wasn’t even about how he looked, it was how he talked out of the side of his mouth, how he would roll his eyes at Constance, how they’d stay up all night smoking and drinking PBR. He called him on his bullshit, he was honest.

He needed to get back to him and apologize. He couldn’t lose his one friend, messing it up with his fuckin’ batshit feelings.

Tate was complete loser, couldn’t even keep a friend without freaking out.

He rushed out of the bathroom, trying not to run down the hall to his room. Tate threw open the door, probably looking like a mad man, only to see Victor sitting on the bed and putting his shoes on.

Victor froze upon seeing Tate, eyes widening. He put his hands out in front of him as Tate shut the door and moved closer. Did he think Tate was going to hit him?

“I’m just gonna go. I-I was being gross and I can’t stay, obviously you’re not into me like that I-“ Tate cut him off by grabbing him by the shirt collar and leaned down to kiss him.

Victor was stiff against him for a blink of an eye, then his hands grabbed Tate’s jaw, holding him closer. His eyes slid shut.

Victor kissed him like the world was ending, Tate let him lead and he was happy to follow. Kissing him was different from the girls he’d made out with before, where they were too meak, Victor had command. Victor had experience, hands moving to the back of his head, tracing and tugging gently at his hair, causing Tate to gasp, Victor using it as an invitation to deepen the kiss. He tasted like menthols and black licorice.

Victor pulled back, his breath trembling. Tate wanted to kiss him again, he wanted to feel his touch.

Perfect, kissing him was so perfect. He never wanted to let him go.

“I gotta go.” Victor said, stuffing his shaking hands into his jacket pockets.

“No. Please stay.” Tate said grabbing his arm but Victor just shrugged his arm from his grasp.

“I can’t.” Victor said.

“Vic, please-“

“I said I can’t!” Victor snapped.

Why? Didn’t he just kiss back? Didn’t he just touch over his face like he wanted to kiss him? Didn’t he like Tate back?

Tate stepped back, that bubbling black tar of anger washing over him, the kind that left him blank and easily puppeted by the darkness crawling inside.

“Fine! I’m no faggot anyway!” Tate snapped.

Victor immediately recoiled. Surprised at tate.

“I’m not a faggot deadbeat drug addict loser who’s own dad would beat me within an inch of my life if he knew I was a faggot but he’s too tired from dragging himself around to get me money that I just waste on weed and coke!” Tate yelled.

Victor’s small and crumpled posture straightened. He rose from the bed, his extremely tall frame looming over him as he walked towards Tate.

His eyes burned red with tears of anger, jaw set, fist clenched at his side. At 6’4” he practically loomed over Tate, his eyes filled with rage. He grabbed Tate by the neck and slammed him against the wall. Tate struggled and thrashed, gasping out for breath as Victor’s grip was ruthlessly tight. He gasped for breath, smacking against Victor’s hand.

“Fuck you Tate Langdon.” He snarled. “If you ever, ever, call me a faggot again I will snap your goddamn neck.”

He let Tate go, dropping him to the ground like he weighed nothing.

Vic wiped his eyes, sniffling then left the room, slamming the door behind him.

Tate took a moment to gather himself, hands shaking as he patted over his neck. Holy shit. Holy shit.

Why did he do that?

He gasped for breath, coughing and wheezing. He was such an idiot, a complete monster to treat his best friend like that. Why did Vic kiss back? Why did he leave?

Tate began to cry, curling in on himself. Not only did he kiss his best friend, he called him a faggot and then Victor choked him out, Tate couldn’t even blame him. He cried out, sobbing against the hardwood floor.

Idiot. Idiot. Idiot.

He beat the sides of his head as he cried. He shot up to his feet, grabbing his glass of water off his nightstand, throwing it against the wall with a scream.

He panted as the glass shards settled on the ground, some landing on his bare feet.

A loud bang of a room from down the hall made him jump, pounding footsteps following. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Constance slammed his door open, hair wrapped tightly in curlers, eyes ablaze as she scanned over the room.

“Tate Langdon what the fuck is going on?” She demanded.

“I-I-“ Tate was at a loss for words.

“You know, I don’t give a hot damn. You’re cleaning that up, now.” She interrupted.

Tate’s eyes fell to the chair, Victor had left his book.

“Where’s that faggot friend of yours? Make him help.” Constance said.

She had been drinking, her breath was heavy with wine. She always drank extra heavily when Vic came over, ever since they started hanging out.

Tate’s fist balled. He snatched Victor’s book off the chair, brushing past her.

“Don’t call him that.” He said walking down the hall.

“Tate Langdon you get back here! Clean that mess up!” She yelled down at him.

He rolled his eyes as he made his way down the stairs, pulling his boots on and slamming the door as he left.

The September wind caressed his cheeks, not quite cold enough for a jacket. The street lights buzzed, lighting his way to his beat up car. Constance had almost killed him for marking up his black Cadillac she had gotten for his 16th birthday. It’s not like she paid for it, she was fucking the local cars salesman and lucky Tate being 16 got his apology gift for cheating on her.

He threw himself into the car, banging his head against the steering wheel with a sigh. His hand ran over his and Vic’s initials on the dashboard.

He took a moment, taking deep breaths before he started up the car with an enthusiastic roar, radio immediately blasting. He hastily punched the dial off, he didn’t want to listen to music, his head already felt like static.

All he had to focus on was just his clutch and the speed limit, not like Tate drove it anyway.

The drive to Vic’s house was short, just a couple blocks of nice houses before everything turned to absolute shit. Boarded up buildings, barred windows to convenience stores, Hell you could even see the hookers lounging around the street corners. It took a dive and it took a dive fast and that’s where you could find Victor Sinclair.

Victor rarely took him to his house, Tate couldn’t blame him. He’d only been inside once or twice, he just generally picked him up, even at that he’d insist on a more popular street corner of bus stop sometimes.

He knew his bedroom was the basement, if you could call it that. Just a underground water closet with enough room for a twin mattress.

He parked outside a small little two bedroom house, windows barred over but aglow. Vic had to be inside.

Tate inhaled, white knuckling his steering wheel for a moment. He sighed again and grabbed Victor’s book, his flimsy excuse to see him.

He shuffled up to the front door, tail between his legs like some goddamn loser. He just had to apologize, speak from the heart.

He knocked on the front door, not aggressively but firmly. Quickly followed by footsteps and it being thrown open, a small figure in the doorway.

Bundled in a Rugrats blanket like a makeshift hoodie and dark circle hooded eyes stood Damien Sinclair, brown eyes staring at Tate like he just kicked over his Lincoln logs or something.

“Oh…” Tate said, “I uh, didn’t mean to wake you.”

“Whatever.” The little boy dismissed, waving a hand at him. “What do you want?”

Damien was a peculiar child, brown hair and equally brown eyes that accused Tate, seeing right through him.

“Is...is Vic here?” Tate asked.

“No. I thought you were with him.” Damien said, loosening his blanket hood. “He might be at 7/11. Otherwise, good luck, if he’s not there just go home. The taco truck ain’t open this late.”

Oh. Oh no.

Was he doing something stupid? Or was he just at 7/11?

“Okay, thanks…kid. I’ll check there.” He said, not really knowing how to end this conversation.

“Whatever. Bye!” Damien said, quickly slamming the door on Tate’s face.

Absolute demon spawn. What did he ever do to him?

Tate grumbled under his breath. Even if he wasn’t at 7/11 he could buy Vic those Marlboro menthols he really liked, maybe some candy too.

Shit, Tate was already acting like some dumb boyfriend.

He was not Vic’s boyfriend. He did not have feelings for him. He didn't owe him anything, well maybe an apology. It's not like he had any obligation.

The glow of the 7/11 was the only light in his car. He made his way inside, greeted by a nod from the shopkeeper.

“Hey, odd question. Have you seen a tall dude, like really tall dude, in here tonight? Black hair, green eyes?” Tate asked the bored looking clerk.

The clerk squinted at him.

“You mean Sinclair? If so, nah, I ain’t seen him.” The guy said.

Well fuck.

“Oh. Thanks.” Tate said giving a thin lipped smile. “Wait, can I get a pack of Marlboro Menthols?”

The clerk nodded.

Tate paid for the cigarettes, pretty damn cheap too. He thought about getting snacks too but that would be kinda lame. This isn't middle school.

He waved a polite goodbye and headed back to his car.

Damien was right, he needed to just head home. If Vic wanted to talk he could call in the morning. Tate needed to sleep, he was getting tired, the fact that it was 2:00 am didn’t help.

The car ride home was a lot slower, it almost made him forget about Constance, who greeted him by grabbing him by the shirt collar and dragging him to the stairs of the basement.

“You’re going to get the broom and sweep up your room or by God I will throttle you.” Constance threatened, waving a bony finger in his face.

What was with it with people wanting to choke him. Was he really that bad?

Tate only sighed in defeat, nodding his head.

Constance smacked him upside the head.

“Hurry!” She snapped.

Tate nodded again, hands balling at his sides. He scurried like a scared child down the basement stairs, flicking on the dim lights in search of the water closet.

To his great surprise when he opened the water closet he found much more than a broom. Instead he found Victor, sprawled out on the ground, torn up cans of PBR littered around him.

“Holy shit.” Tate breathed.

Victor startled.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” Tate asked, more confused and surprised than upset.

Victor rubbed his head, opening a red crusty eye.

“I...fuckin, I wanted to get our stash, because I fuckin hate you and wanted to leave with it.” Victor explained, trying to sit up but failing, accepting his place on the ground. “Got angry, shotgunned too many beers. Tate, I can’t get up.” He whined out, squirming around uselessly.

Tate had to stifle his laughter. Never had he seen Victor this drunk before.

He kneeled next to him, brushing his shaggy hair from his eyes. Victor grabbed his hand, holding it against his face.

“Warm.” Victor purred, eyes closing like a happy cat.

“How many did you drink?” Tate asked, trying to count the cans.

“Fuckin...12? I don’t know, the whole pack I’m pretty sure. Mmm’ Give me yer other hand I’m cold.” Victor said reaching his free hand out at him.

Tate happily gave it to him. Victor put each hand on either side of his face, sighing with content.

“Vic, I’m so sorry.” He said, eyes beginning to water. “I shouldn’t have said those things. I have no idea about feelings, ever. I just know that I’m a fucking idiot and I like- i dunno i really REALLY like you.”

One of Victor’s eyes opened to look at him once over then shut again.

“I know.” Victor said.

Tate waited for more, but it never came. Instead Victor continued to lay there, holding Tate’s hands to his face.

“If uh...if you’re cold we can go back to my room? You should be asleep on a bed.” Tate suggested.

Victor grumbled something incoherent, before letting go of Tate’s hands and sitting up abruptly. Victor stumbled to his feet without Tate’s help, apparently happy at the idea of a bed.
Tate quickly grabbed the broom, the stinging on the back of his head an easy reminder.

Tate watched from behind as Victor slowly crawled up both flights of stairs on all fours like a dog, only slipping once. Occasionally slamming into the wall when he lost his balance.

It was amusing and sad all at once. Never had Tate seen Victor act so silly and childish, but he felt his insides twisting knowing that he had caused Victor to drink like his mother.

Once inside Tate’s room, He guided Victor to the side of the bed that didn’t have broken glass on the ground. Victor took his shoes off one by one and threw them at Tate, his jeans following suit.

Tate knew the shoes would have hit him in the face if Vic was sober. Thank god he wasn't, steel toes hurt like a bitch.

Tate watched him as he swept, his long and willowy limbs spreading out all across the bed like a splatter of paint.

“Tate-y…baby… I’m cold c’mere.” Victor groaned into a pillow, hand out reaching and grabbing at nothing.

He froze, looking at him completely wasted. He couldn’t do that. It’d be wrong. Victor probably would wake up and strangle him to death.

“Tate. Please, I wanna cuddle. Have your bisexual revelations in the morning just be here now.” Victor said picking his head up. “I need you.”

Tate immediately nodded, he removed his shoes and jeans all the same, crawling under the covers with Victor.

At first he tried to wrap himself around Victor, attempting to spoon him but Victor only grumbled, using his size to move Tate as he wanted, which ended up as Tate being the little spoon.

“Perfect heater. Perfect stupid little blonde heater.” Victor muttered against his head.

Tate tried to be upset but he couldn’t, completely content to be engulfed by him. Victor was continuously babbling incoherencies, long cold hands sliding under Tate’s shirt and resting on his stomach.

Tate hissed at the cold feeling, his face burned red at the touch.

“You want me to jerk you off, Princess?” Victor mumbled against his head.

Tate froze, choking on air at the proposal. He could only imagine how red he was, he was thanking God for the dark, even if he didn’t believe in him.

Yes holy shit did he want that, but Vic was drunk, he couldn’t do that to him.

“No.” Tate whispered.

Victor hummed, as if it was no difference to him, his hands smoothing up and down on Tate’s stomach.

“You’re nice. I’ll blow you in the morning.” Victor said, picking his head up enough to press a kiss to the side of Tate’s face.

Tate’s eyes widened, trying to figure out what to say to that but Victor was already snoring. Tate just figured vic thought he was another random hookup. It's probably best to ignore it and rest his head back against his chest, sleep came a bit later for Tate.

When Tate awoke he found Victor still there, wrapped around him, awake surprisingly, lazy smile on his lips.

“Good morning.” Victor greeted.

“You’re still here?” Tate said.

“Why wouldn’t I be? You want me to leave?” He asked raising his eyebrows.

“No, no! It’s just, how much do you remember from last night?” Tate asked.

Victor shrugged, propping himself on his shoulder, pulling himself away from Tate. Tate found himself missing his touch.

“I remember everything before choking you out, vaguely when you found me, then crawling into bed with you.” Victor said.

Victor ran his fingers over his neck, tracing the bruises.

“Sorry.” He said, eyes flashing to the ground.

“It’s okay. I deserved it. Constance also thought i deserved it…” Tate said, holding Victor’s hand.

“idiot,” Victor said shuffling closer.

He kissed him. Gentle, easy, moving against one another with a flow, hands caressing over Tate’s face, holding him steady.

Victor made sure to make good on his promise from the night before.

Chapter Text

It was dark, barely light enough to see Tate, his black eyes melding into the night surrounding him. They sat cross legged, facing one another, all clothes save for boxers discarded.

But no, they weren’t doing anything, not anymore.

The clock on the nightstand glowed 2:45 but neither seemed to care. It was a weekend anyway.

Victor raised a shaky hand to Tate’s face. Their breaths ragged. Tate donned a cut across his cheek bone from where Constance had struck him during dinner.

His hand trailed from his face to his arm, barely there touches until he held his wrist, upturning it and displaying fresh cuts.

Victor traced over the scabbed cuts, then down over his palm before taking his hand in his own.

“I’m sorry.” Tate said, just above a whisper. “I...I just can’t handle myself when you’re not here. It’s only at night when I have nightmares, when I can’t fall back asleep and I start to think and then I think so goddamn much my throat closes up.”

Tate’s dark eyes faltered, the sharpness melting to liquid tears. Fat tears welling up and falling down his cheeks. He cried like classical lovers did, long dark eyelashes heavy by tears.

Victor’s freehand held his face once more.

“It’s okay. It’s okay.” Victor whispered, pulling him closer.

He pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek, then to his closed eye.

“I dream you’re gone, that I can never hold you. That I can’t touch you. You’re always so close but I can never touch you.” Tate cried into his shoulder. “When I wake up you’re not there, I smell you on my sheets but you’re not there.”

Victor turned his head to press a kiss to his forehead, pressing his face against him.

“When I’m awake, the thought grows, y’know? It’s like a black hole swallowing me. It goes from, Vic’s not here to Vic’ll never come back, that I’ll never see my baby again. Then all I can think about is never hearing you, never touching you, never holding you in my arms. It makes my brain feel like the tv static, I gotta cut-I gotta end the static.” He said, trying and failing to hold his composure.

Victor pulled them apart, Tate tried to go back to his place against Victor but he held him still.

“I’ll never leave. It’ll be me and you, together forever. Now and always. I promise.” Victor said, holding his face with both hands.

He wiped the tears away with his thumbs but more easily streamed down his cheeks. Tate nodded, leaning into his arms once more. They fell back onto the bed, Tate’s head over Victor’s heart, comforted by the thrum of it.

Tate brushed his hands over the old and fresh bruises and hickeys across Victor’s chest. The room had fallen silent and Victor smoothed his hands down Tate’s back.

He was barely crying now, just a few whimpers falling out.

The silence between them was heavy and tense, something like the silence they shared before they dated, words left unsaid between them.

“I know how you feel. The thought starts and it doesn’t stop, it feels like the world is ending.” Victor whispered, eyes squeezing shut to avoid tears. “I think about a lot when I cut. I think about how hard life is, how I’m so tired all the time, how it’s only gonna get worse.”

Tate raised his head from his chest, reaching up to hold Victor’s face.

“Is it worse with me?” He asked, his voice scared like a child.

“No. Never. When I’m with you, it’s okay. I’m just afraid that one day you’ll leave, and I’ll be alone again.” Victor said, putting his hand atop Tate’s. “I think about how empty I am without you.”

Tate paused, liquid eyes thoughtful as he pondered his response.

“Why would I ever want to leave you?” Tate asked.

Victor shook his head and pushed hair off of Tate’s face.

“I just worry, even if it doesn’t make sense.” Victor dismissed.

“No, seriously. Tell me.” Tate said.

He didn’t want to tell him he was afraid that he was holding Tate back. That he was nothing more than a white trash kid who stumbled into his life. He was going to leave him, just like his mother left him and his father. Victor was going to have to put himself back together like he always did, always leaving some pieces behind.

“I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it yet.” Victor said.

Tate nodded.

“Do you ever want to leave LA?” Victor whispered, changing the subject.

“Yes.” Tate said, almost immediately. “I wanna study birds, I gotta move with them.”

Victor nodded.

He couldn’t leave LA, he had no money, he had commitments, he had a baby brother to take care of.

Tate could. Tate had no attachments beyond Victor.

“If I left, I wouldn’t go without you, though.” Tate said, big black eyes flashing up at him.

“Really?” He said.

“Yeah really, I couldn’t make it out the city without you. I gotta go to the Midwest, maybe the ozarks. No one’s out there. It’d just be us, we could get a little place you know? For us to do whatever.” Tate said sitting up. “And they have some pretty cool birds, like have you ever seen a photo of an indigo bunting? It’s blue like you’ve never seen blue.”

Victor nodded along. He liked this, seeing Tate so excited.

Victor wanted that. He wanted the house by the lake. He wanted to spend each night under heavy blankets with Tate in his arms. There would be no one to say anything, they could be as far away as they wanted, free to steal kisses in the day time, as loud as they wanted at night.

He wanted it more than anything else.

“I’d love that. What else? Tell me more about this superb little birds.” He said sitting up as well.

“Well, there’s a lot of water fowl there too, like great blue herons and shit. They look like dinosaurs, it’s insane.” Tate said, smiling to himself.

The conversation died down, Victor just stared at Tate. His eyes were still red from crying, but he looked much better now.

Victor laid back down, Tate situated himself next to him, his head rested upon his scarred chest.

“I also really wanna see a bald eagle. There’s like none near LA obviously, but, I think it would be special to see them in their mating dive.” Tate said “It’s, it’s pretty cool. They hold onto each other and just, drop, only breaking when absolutely necessary. I’ve only read about it.”

“Damn, that’s pretty fuckin cool.” Victor said.

“And, after that, they mate for life. Side by side forever.” Tate said.

“Yeah?” Victor said running his fingers through Tate’s hair. “Kinda like me and you, huh?”

Tate smiled, shy and ducking his head away.

“Yeah.” Tate said “just like me and you.”

Victor wanted to say something to break the silence. He wanted to pull away from the comfort and reassurance he felt but that was just fear.

Tate shuffled to him, cradling his face as he pulled him into a slow, languid kiss. Victor responded kindly by kissing back, hands rubbing up and down his back.

Tate pulled away, kissing down his chest until he nestled himself once more.

Victor sighed in relief. He had a sleepy Tate in his arms, and for the first time, a dream for the future.

He had nothing to fear.

Chapter Text

Victor hated leaving his closet, but Big Stinky ran out and he didn’t want anyone else catching and killing the big fat rat. He was a good boy, everyone else was just stupid for being grossed out by him.

He was chasing him around the basement of when he ran directly into another person, a sharply dressed person at that.

The man’s thick eyebrows knit as he stared down at Victor, crouched to the floor petting his rat.

“Who are you? Are you new?” The man asked, raising an eyebrow.

Victor curled back on himself, his eyes squinting in hesitation. He knew him, vaguely, he’d seen him before and through the slots of the water closet door.

He was one of the two men Tate had murdered just a few years ago.

“No. I gotta go.” Victor said putting Big Stinky on his shoulder but the man reached down to him, grabbing his shirt collar.

“Wait a second. I saw you the other day with that blonde little Norman Bates. I’ve never seen you before, now you’re running around with good old Ted Bundy Jr. so you better fess up.” He said.

Victor struggled, kicking at his feet.

“Hey, you bastard you get your fuckin hands off.” Victor growled, pulling out of his grip and scuttering off.

“Whatever, Walmart Sid Vicious. Go back to whatever hell hole you crawled out of.” He sneered.

Whoever this dude was, he was very gay.

“Fuck off, I’ll do as I please. My business is none of yours.” Victor snapped.

“You can spend your time as you please, I personally don’t like to associate myself with murderers.” The man said.

Victor scrambled to his feet, shoving him against the basement wall.

“Shut the fuck up, you don’t know him.” He said, tightening his grip around his throat.

“I know he killed me.” He said, trying to get Victor’s hand off of him. “I know the look in your eyes too, you’ve got a crush on him, huh? You one of those murderer devotees?”

“You don’t know me!” He yelled, smacking the man’s head against the wall.

It thudded, heavy and dull, blood leaking down his face.

The man smirked.

“Of course. You don’t just have a little crush, you love him don’t you?” The man said.

“Fuck off.” Victor dismissed.

“You do. You really have feelings for that little psycho. How cute. Have you always? Did he ever notice you?” He said.

Victor punched the man. He felt a sick satisfaction at punching him, he missed fighting.

“I said fuck off!” Victor said.

“No, this is an old flame, you’ve definitely fucked him, huh? Is he a bottom?” He said struggling against Victor’s grip.

“Shut up! I now understand why he killed you. It’s because you’re pathetic! You had everything, you had a husband, a house, but you’re just a worm. I watched him kill you, I didn’t stop him, I could’ve but I didn’t!” Victor said. “You’re just washed out and pathetic.”

The man’s eyes burned with anger, he struggled against him, he grabbed his arm, bracing it, before he punched it, definitely popping it out of socket at least and maybe breaking his wrist.

Victor yelped, cradling his arm, it would be back to normal soon but it didn’t mean it wasn’t painful. Victor collapsed to the ground, dizzy from pain.

“So go crawl to him! Go crawl to your rapist! Can you handle that? Can you suck his dick knowing he got little Mrs. Harmon pregnant?!” He yelled down at him.

Victor struggled to look at him.

No.

No that couldn’t be true.

Tate would never sink that low.

“Shut up! You’re lying!” Victor said, pulling himself to his feet, his arm popping back into socket.

The smirk on the man’s stupid face rose again, snotty and arrogant.

“I thought everyone knew. She’s pregnant right now with your bleached blonde boy toy’s baby.” He said, smugly. “Go ahead and ask him, he’s been calling for who I now assume is you every night. He should be here soon.”

“Fuck all the way off!” Victor said.

As if on cue, a rumbling and thudding came from the stairs.

Victor’s head whipped around to see Tate, frozen in place as he looked at him.

There he stood, blonde hair ratty as always, sweater twice his size, making him look small and innocent.

Tate looked at a loss for words, a small, sweet smile raising on his lips, mouth opening to say something but Victor swiftly cut him off by punching him square in the face.

Tate dropped like a sack of potatoes to the floor from the unexpected hit. He held his nose as he gathered himself on the floor.

“Fuck!” Tate exclaimed. “I think you broke my nose.”

“And I’ll break your fucking neck too.” Victor said kicking him over.

“What? Why?” Tate asked, but Victor only replied by kicking at him.

Tate cried out but accepted the beating, curling in on himself. His black eyes flashed up to him as tears welled up, but he covered his face, not daring to look at Victor.

“Look at me, Langdon.” He commanded “Look at me!”

Tate pulled his hands from his face to look at Victor. Victor knelt next to Tate, grabbing him by the face.

His eyes flashed to the man still watching with glee. Man did he want to put his head through drywall.

Their eyes locked, Tate’s frantic, like a frightened and trapped animal just waiting to break free. It made Victor’s heart break for a moment and not a moment more.

“You tell me the truth, you look at me and tell me you didn’t rape her.” Victor hissed.

Tate tried to struggle away, his eyes flashing with fear. He was shuffling aimlessly against Victor. If Tate wanted to fight, he’d fight, just like they used to, but he didn’t have it in him. That gave Victor all he needed to know.

Why did it have to be true.

“Tell me, goddamnit!” He said smacking him upside the head.

Instead Tate cried, pulling away from his grip and wordlessly admitting his guilt.

Victor let him go, wiping tears off his cheeks he didn’t know he had shed.

He stood up and shuffled back, eyes still locked on the boy he once loved. Tate sobbed and shuffled to him, crawling on his knees like he was repenting.

No. Of course he wouldn’t repent.

If he felt guilty he wouldn’t have done it in the first place, done any of this in the first place.

“Victor please-“ Tate cried, ugly tears streaming down his face.

“Get out of here” Victor said, “now.”

“Baby, you don’t understand-“

“I’m not your fuckin’ baby! Just because I’m trapped in this hellhole does not mean you get to know me again! I don’t even know you anymore!” Victor yelled.

Fuck. He was going to cry.

He hated that he cried when he was angry. It made people think he was sorry. He was not sorry.

He wanted to be his baby. He wanted to be his, goddamnit, he wanted to be his again. He wanted the easy smiles and touches, the dumb jokes, to fall asleep next to him, warm and content.

“Go away.” Victor said, trying to resolve himself but failing.

That life was over, it was as dead as he was.

“Fuck! I said go away!” Victor yelled.

At that he watched as Tate’s healing but bruised form disappeared, going wherever else in the house.

Victor slumped himself against the wall he was closest too. He clasped his hand around his mouth and muffled a sob.

He felt like he was dying all over again, he wanted to die all over again. It would’ve been much easier than what had just happened.

He had to remind himself that that wasn’t his Tate, just some warped image of him. But, Christ, did he want it to be. He wanted it to be him, he wanted his Tate back.

His cries were cut short by a slow, mocking clapping, from the man who had apparently watched the whole thing.

“Very, very dramatic.” The man said, “I think I’ll see the matinee tomorrow.”

Victor glared at him, all the wrath he spared Tate now imparted on him.

“I just threatened to snap my ex boyfriend’s neck why the fuck do you think I would think twice about snapping yours.” Victor said balling his fists at his side, ready to push his shit in again.

The man sighed in exasperation.

“Ooh, I’m so scared of the big bad teenager. As if I’m not already as dead as you are.” He taunted.

“Fuckin Christ is everyone is as obnoxious a prick as you are nowadays? If that’s what it’s like now I’m glad I kicked the bucket.” Victor said rolling his eyes.

“What a comeback. Guess that’s what sucks about dying as a teenager huh? Those stupid hormones never leave. Well, since you’re obviously in an eternal phase of teen angst, I can show myself out.” He said before disappearing further into the basement.

What a shithead.

Though at that, Victor paused, taking a moment to take a breath, think for a moment, surveying the basement. Before he collapsed to the ground, emotionally spent.

Chapter Text

Violet knew how precious her brother was, how everyone had almost ripped each other’s throats out at the prospect of her brothers, she knew she had to stay vigilant.

Her parents were sleeping and her brother was in his crib. Her brother who was born alive was stolen by Constance and she could only hope he would turn out okay, but her brother Jeffery was a stillborn and it was her family’s job to protect him.

So when she heard crying from his room she thought nothing of it, he was a baby after all, but she stirred when the crying had stopped.

As fast as she could she rushed to her brother’s room, seeing what was the matter. She couldn’t have any of those fuckin creeps near her baby brother.

To her surprise when she opened the door, in the rocking chair a large and shadowy figure sat in the corner, cradling Jeffery and feeding him. To even more surprise she recognized it as Victor, who was happily rocking gently back in forth, gentle smile on his face as he held the sleeping baby.

He barely startled as he saw Violet.

“Uh, hey.” He whispered “shit, sorry. He was crying really loud and I thought he needed something. So I gave him a bottle.”

Violet just nodded, shutting the door behind her and getting closer.

He was actually pretty good with him, which was…odd. This drifter ass teenager just holding a baby, looking like a grandma holding her new grandson.

She should’ve been startled, should’ve shoved him off and put Jeffrey back in his crib but they both looked happy.

“I’ll- I should,” Victor said, starting to get up.

Violet raised her hand and shook her head.

“No uh, if he’s sleeping then you probably shouldn’t move him too much.” She said shuffling closer.

“You sure? I just, he should be fine.” Victor said. “Like hey, I’m like a grifter, so if you want me to.”

“It’s fine, he looks happy so, just. It’s whatever, relax.” She said shrugging.

Victor nodded, before looking down at Jeffrey. He cradled his head with love and experience, just barely rocking now.

Violet knelt next to him.

He looked so different in this light. He looked much less brooding, happy almost, contented to just hold Jeffrey. This Victor was drastically different from the one she had met before, the one who was absolutely right about Tate.

”I wouldn’t have guessed you liked babies” She said. “Seem like the person who subscribes to the whole dumb ‘Babies are stupid and messy’ thing like, where did you think you came from, idiot?”

Victor laughed at that.

“Yeah, yeah I get it. Babies are like the only thing that matters.” Victor said with a shrug. “And like, the cutest thing to be put on this earth.”

Violet nodded, adjusting and sitting cross legged next to him.

“You’re really good with him.” She said, breaking the brief silence.

“Oh, uh, thanks. I actually raised my baby brother.” He said. “My mom split right after he was born, like, just a couple weeks, she had that postpartum thing I guess. I was only 8 at the time so I kinda had to grow up fast.”

Violet looked up at him. His eyes were red now, obviously holding back tears.

“Holy shit, that...really sucks.” She said looking back to the ground.

Victor just shrugged, putting the bottle down and lifting Jeffrey against his shoulder and patting his back to burp him.

“It wasn’t all terrible. He possibly was, is I guess, the greatest person ever. My little brother was my pride and joy, like I went everywhere with him, he’s the best.” He said. “The kid was fuckin’ smart, y’know? Like he’s probably doing something important now. I just, I can’t imagine him being like me, just some burn out.”

Jesus, okay that definitely explained a lot.

She didn’t really ask Tate about him, she wasn’t really in the business of finding out about exes, and Tate seemed really bent out of shape about him, and after her only interaction with Victor she wasn’t about to go back and ask him.

“He was like, everything I wanted to be. He was really young when I died, but like, I felt that, because I was already too far gone but he was gonna be different.” Victor said “fuck. I don’t know, I’m talking a lot. I haven’t had an actual conversation in an eternity so I’m, just...rambling.”

“No! No. It’s okay actually. It’s nice to talk to someone who’s not my mom or dad, it’s really lonely around here.” Violet said.

Victor smiled, lopsided and kinda goofy.

“Tell me about it. My best friend is a rat I found a couple months ago.” He chuckled.

Violet laughed, something she felt like she hadn’t done in a long time.

Then the conversation faded out, but Violet wasn’t upset. It was just nice to be near a teenager that wasn’t Tate, or just a teenager in general.

“Hey, I’m really sorry for the way I acted when I first met you.” Victor said looking up from baby Jeffery.

Violet swallowed.

Yeah, that whole ordeal.

She thought he was going to kill her, well, maybe just mame her, or something like that.

“It’s okay.” She said quietly.

“No, like really. I’m sorry, it’s… it was tough to think about…him, with someone else and what had happened to me happening to someone else.” He said shaking his head. “And I’m sorry I couldn’t stop it.”

Violet nodded, letting out a breath she didn’t know she was holding.

She put her hand on his arm, his eyes widened and then softened at the touch.

“I appreciate it, really.” She said offering a small smile.

His eyes watered.

How long had it been since simple kindness had been shown to him?

“What’s his name?” Victor said sniffing and nodding to Jeffrey.

“Uh, Jeffrey.” She said.

Victor’s eyebrows raised, huffing a small laugh.

“Whoa. You know, when I was a sophomore, there was this crazy dude in the news a lot named Jeffrey.” He said. “He killed a bunch of people and ate them.”

“Holy shit are you talking about Jeffrey Dahmer?” She asked, stifling laughter. “Fuck, you’re old.”

“Hey! I’m not old, I am…fuck I can’t remember, I’m either seventeen or eighteen.” Victor said looking to the ground.

Violet felt the weight of his confusion. Would she be like that one day? Would she forget her own age.

“So, I’m fifteen, you’re like methuselah.” Violet said, easing the tension.

Victor choked on his laughter, hushed so not to wake the sleeping baby. After a moment his eyes widened, eyebrows raised.

“Fifteen?!” He said in disbelief. “You are a baby! A baby baby! Are you kidding me? I am…going to skin Tate and cut his dick off. You are fifteen, you are a child.”

Violet bristled at the mention of Tate, still she rolled her eyes. She wanted to be exhausted by him, how everyone always was so surprised but she couldn’t get upset.

“Fuck off. If time here really goes so quickly, I guess I’ll be like, spiritually, eighteen soon I guess.” She said with a shrug.

Victor shook his head.

“Nope. Not at all. Death punches the fuck outta your clock. You will always be fifteen and I will be whatever fuckin age I am. I will always have too long of legs and no chest hair, I will never get my shit sorted out.” He said, smiling but emptily.

Silence suffocated them.

Of course. Of course it’d be that horrible, if being stuck here wasn’t bad enough she’d eternally be a sophomore, which is a hell in itself.

The only sound that filled the room was the creek of the rocking chair as Victor continued to rock Jeffrey.

“Is...is it completely terrible? Like, will I one day forget my age too?” She whispered. “I see the other ghosts, they’re all listless and angry. And does...does the house make you do bad things once you’re dead? Like-“

“Like Tate?” He asked with a raised eyebrow. “No. Maybe. Actually I’m gonna stick with no. The people who do bad shit here, do it because now they have nothing to lose. They would’ve done it alive but they just had normal shit going on, now that they’re here? Cards off the table. Free will isn’t gone when you’re dead, kid.”

Violet nodded.

“What about just like, day to day stuff, just existing you know?” She asked.

“I don’t really know, actually. I’ve locked myself in a water closet for the past how many years and I tortured myself because I had nothing better to do. You, Violet Harmon, have a lot better to do. You’ve got a family here, people who love you and look after you.” He said.

She took a deep breath. He was right. The weird crackhead teenager who she definitely wanted to hang out with more was right.

That was the weird thing about being dead, now she appreciated her family more than ever, the very people she died to try to get away from. She wondered if he missed his.

“You know you don’t have to stay there. You can come topside, probably talk to my dad. No judgment but… I think you could benefit some sessions.” She said.

Victor just shook his head.

“I appreciate it. Maybe in a while but, it’s a little much right now. Not seeing people in god knows how long then all of a sudden all this shit happens, it’s overwhelming.” He said tapping his foot nervously. “I think, I think this is all I can handle for now.”

Violet just nodded. She just stared at the door, listening to quiet and listless footsteps pass by. She had gotten used to it now, but it still made the base of her skull light up with worry.

“Do you wanna come up tomorrow night?” She asked “feed him again and talk? Or just, just feed him we don’t have to talk I can just let you be.”

Victor smiled that small and lopsided smile again.

“I’d like that. I’d like to talk.” He said.

Chapter Text

There was a lot of stupid reasons, empty justifications Victor could make. Maybe because he finally found the last of weed that he bought on Halloween, and ran through far too quickly with the whole Tate situation. Maybe because he stole big ole scary Dr. Harmon’s fancy bottle of whisky and drank it like it was apple juice. Maybe he was just flat out lonely.

Either way there was no sane reason for Victor to be standing just feet away from Tate who was looking in on the Harmons having their nice, cozy little family Christmas. Which, Violet had suggested Victor could stop by upstairs but it wasn’t really his thing.

Instead there he stood, just feet away from Tate, his big black eyes watering at him.

Tate moved towards him, ready for embrace but Victor snagged him by the throat and pushing him against the brick siding of the house.

Tate struggled against him. The cold December air rushed against his skin, flushed from drinking. Victor slotted himself against Tate, pressing harder.

“Christ, Vic, It’s Christmas Eve can you not kick the shit outta me tonight.” Tate said, voice raspy.

“Yeah, Christmas spirit.” Victor slurred, leaning close, head heavy and swaying. “Since...since when has that saved you, baby? Good will to men isn’t exactly your philosophy, babe.”

He rested his head against the wall just inches away from Tate, who barely fought his loosening grip on his throat.

He turned his head, so close to Tate. He let go of Tate’s throat, letting his hand drop to his side before picking it back up again, tracing over his face.

“You’ve always been the prettiest bastard.” Victor said shifting away from Tate, resting next to him on the brick wall.

“And you always compliment me when you’re drunk.” Tate said panting, leaning over and bracing himself on his knees.

Victor made an audible ‘pfft.’

“I’m not drunk.” He said shoving at Tate.

“Yeah? How come you smell like that time we drank a 24 pack of PBR and then threw it up behind the tool shed?” Tate asked, straightening up and leaning back against the wall.

Victor rolled his eyes.

“Maybe I am. What about it, Langdon?” He said leaning close, reaching up to touch over his face again.

“Well you were just about to beat the shit outta me so,” Tate said, hands stuffed in his pockets.

“Yeah ‘cause I’m mad at you, but...fuck, I am a little drunk.” Victor said turning himself to face him, eyes meeting one another’s.

He put both of his hands on Tate’s face.

“God you’re still warm.” Victor said.

Victor closed the gap between them with a slow and heavy kiss. Lips still moving like they used to, but Tate’s hands were absent from where he usually held him steady.

Why was he doing this? Why was he kissing the man he swore he hated? Why couldn’t he stop?

Victor pulled back to breathe, trying to wrap his mind around everything but instead his body screamed to kiss him again, to touch him again, to fuck him again.

“You still have a million freckles.” Tate said, raising a shaky hand to touch his cheeks, his thumb sliding over the scar on his nose.

He melted into the touch. It was almost too much, to go without touch for so long only for it to return so suddenly. Lately the idea of touch made him feel like his skin was going to bubble right off. Instead it was Tate, who made his skin beg to be held, to feel the warmth and devotion he once knew.

He leaned close again, catching Tate’s lip in his teeth. Tate’s hands instinctively clutched onto Victor’s locks.

Kissing him was the easiest thing he’d ever done. Victor’s only self credited talent in life was sex and damn it Tate was the best use.

Each touch was effortless as they grew heavier, kisses deepening, hands traveling, bodies slotting against one another as Tate pressed them into the wall.

Victor missed this. He missed how easy it was to let Tate take control and forget about everything that wasn’t Tate.

Tate’s hands wandered from his neck to his waist, calloused fingers sliding underneath his tattered Radiohead t-shirt, swiping over textured scars, giving his hip a quick and tight squeeze.

Victor broke the kiss, catching the breath he didn’t need. Tate pressed small kisses to the corner of his mouth and to his cheek, breath panting as well.

Victor took the moment to wrap his arms around Tate, pulling him flush into a hug. His fingers tracing down the back of his head, searching underneath the curls for the small “V S” scarred into the skin just at the base of Tate’s skull.

He traced the raised initials there, breath catching for a moment, his memory hazy of the coke addled night when they had done that.

His.

No matter what happened that mark meant Tate was his and he was Tate’s.

“I think about you.” Tate whispered. “I’ve thought about you everyday since I remembered. I thought about what days would’ve been like if I had remembered earlier.”

It wouldn’t have been different. Victor would have stayed in his water closet all same. He had to bite his cheek to keep himself from saying it aloud.

“I think about you too.” Victor said instead.

Of course he thought about him, he thought about him every day, how he could’ve done what he was doing right now.

Maybe all these years was enough. Maybe it was time for his sentence to be up.

Victor didn’t want to speak, he didn’t want to hear Tate. He didn’t want to be sucked in again. Only for tonight could he be with Tate.

Tate held Victor’s chin, turning his head to the side to press a gentle kiss to his lips.

It made his chest ache, how carefully he held his jaw, to delicately he kissed.

It was too sweet, too loving.

Goddamn it he wanted to scream.

“I need you.” Tate whispered against Victor’s lips.

Victor simply nodded, not trusting himself to speak.

Tate pulled back, hand still securely on Victor’s waist. He guided them back inside, Victor following blindly.

Victor didn’t know where he was going, where they could go. Tate’s room was Violet’s now, he’d rather die again than fuck Tate in her room. There was the master bedroom and that made Victor’s stomach twist further.

Instead Tate took a sharp turn down the hallway into the study.

Of course.

Victor stumbled to keep his balance as Tate guided him to the couch where Tate had been taking many sessions. Tate eased him down before turning away and flicking the locks on each door.

Victor stared at the carpeting. He couldn’t help but giggle, thinking off all the times Larry would walk past the study to see him and Tate groping each other like it was a school dance. How they would make a scene, Tate sitting on Constance’s finest lounge chair, Victor straddling his waist, grinding against him like a bitch in heat.

Larry, Larry, Larry. Poor bastard. Got all their anger at Constance taken out on him because they knew he’d never squeal.

His thoughts were interrupted by Tate’s small chuckling, deep and mocking. Victor’s eyes flashed up to see Tate victoriously holding a bottle of lube.

“I knew the good doctor kept some in here, kinky bastard.” Tate said making his way over to Victor.

“Don’t think you get room to talk, Caligula.” Victor said, tilting his head back as Tate stood directly in front of him.

Tate reached out, delicately tracing a hand over his face, then over his jaw, down his neck. Victor caught his hand, pressing a kiss to the center of his palm.

How stunning Tate was, his dark eyes sharp against his creamy skin, his curls placed like a cherub’s.

Tate pressed his hand against Victor’s cheek, urging him to look him in the eyes.

It hurt to look at him. It felt like a million shards of glass against his skin to look at him, like his lungs would collapse as if he was drowning.

“Princess,” Victor managed.

The nickname felt heavy on his tongue, the word so easy despite how shitfaced he was. Everything about Tate was so easy right then, felt so good.

Tate leaned down, kissing him feverishly. They kissed like they used to, all teeth and neediness, like tomorrow would never come. Honestly, for Tate and Victor it never would.

Victor knew he had to leave the moment it was over, when Tate eventually fell asleep he’d slip from his grasp and back into the cover of the basement.

But then, in that moment, he let himself forget. Victor just pressed against him, tugging him down by the hair.

Once Tate settled next to him he swung his leg over his, straddling his waist.

Tate responded in kind, dragging kisses down his throat, nipping and biting across the hollow of it, sucking a deep purple bruise.

All those nights together back in the day they had to avoid leaving visible marks on each other. Now it didn’t matter, together in death they could be carefree.

Victor let a whine slip out, fingers tightening in his hair. God, he missed that. He missed the feeling in the pit of his gut that made him feel like he needed to crawl up the wall. He missed how skilled Tate’s mouth was. He missed everything about sex, especially with Tate.

Tate abruptly pulled away, finger put to his lips, smile on his lips that always meant trouble.

“Don’t want the happy little Harmons to hear us now, do we?” Tate whispered, leaning close again.

Tate’s hands slid under his shirt, pushing it up until Victor just snagged it and pulled it off.

Tate pulled him close, sucking on a now exposed nipple. Victor clenched his jaw to bite back a whine, hands tugging roughly on Tate’s hair, still Tate persisted. He laved over the pink bud, eyes glassy with a wicked gleam that Victor knew meant trouble.

Victor felt his thighs begin to shake as Tate kissed his way across to his other nipple. He knew exactly where and how to touch Victor to send him reeling. His wide and warm hands held his thighs steady, thumbs switching over the insides of them, smoothing up and down.

“Fuck, Langdon.” Victor hissed, eyes sliding shut.

Tate pulled off, looking up at him through thick, dark lashes.

“Pulling out the last name, huh Sinclair?” Tate asked, hands sliding up and resting on his hips.

Victor threaded his hand through his blonde curls, tilting his head back. With his free hand he thumbed over his swollen lips, the plushness of them.

Tate had the nerve, the audacity, to stick his tongue out. His eyes lidded, cheeks flushed, head tilted back in an obscene sight. Those damn eyelashes dark against his rosy cheeks, like a blushing virgin. As if he was innocent. As if he was pure.

Victor let go of his face in favor of pulling the edge of his sweater up, Tate quickly took the hint, taking it off and throwing it carelessly wherever else in the room so long as it wasn’t on him.

They both took a moment to catch their breaths, goosebumps rising on Victor’s skin.

Victor pulled back from Tate’s lap, standing back and fumbling with his pants before getting them off, kicking them to the side. He followed suit by shimming his worn boxers off, throwing them in the same direction of his jeans.

He stood there for a moment, still a little wobbly, face turning red under Tate’s gaze. He stumbled back to Tate.

Without saying a word Tate understood and flicked the cap to the lube bottle open. Victor settled on his lap again, reaching behind him to grip the back of the couch.

A large finger circled his hole, dipping in shallowly before painstakingly slowly then drawing back out with the same rhythm.

Victor gritted his teeth, eyes squeezing shut. He needed more, he felt like he would combust without it. Tate secured his other hand on Victor’s waist.

Without warning he thrust two fingers into him sharply. Victor nearly choked on a moan. He gripped the sofa tighter, head tilting back as he tried not to cry out.

It was so much, too much. His head was getting light, palms sweating and his heart raced. He pressed his body flush against Tate, cock slick with pre come pressed in between him.

“Good job, baby.” Tate whispered, fingers pressing right against Victor’s prostate with ease.

He pressed against his prostate with unforgiving strokes. The pleasure so sudden and raw it almost hurt, it was exactly how Victor liked it.

Tate’s hand wandered from his waist, smoothing up and down his bare thigh, before catching on the only scar on his legs. The large and garish “T L” inscribed on the inside of his right thigh.

Tate scissored his fingers as he thumbed over the scar. Victor instinctively pulled his hands from the backing of the couch and cradled the base of Tate’s skull, finding his own initials there.

“Yours. You marked me as yours.” Tate said, fingers twisted and thrusting sharply.

Victor wanted to wish he never did, wanted to want to carve Tate’s initials off of him, but he didn’t. He was Tate’s, always, fucking always and Tate was his.

“You did too.” Victor said, leaning his head forward and pressing his forehead to Tate’s, not yet daring to open his eyes. “‘Cause I’ll always be yours.”

Fuck. That must’ve been the whiskey. He couldn’t have Tate knowing that.

Instead Victor tightened his hands in his curls, kissing him again before he could say anything else. The kiss grew messy easily, teeth damn near clacking, tongues sliding, Victor’s soft moans swallowed down by Tate. Victor rocked his hips back onto Tate’s fingers, setting a steady pace.

When Tate added a third finger his thighs shook under Tate’s steady hand. Victor could’ve taken him with two but this was important, this was different from all those quick fucks before dinner.

He wanted Tate to take his time, he wanted him to never stop, the ever mounting pleasure sparking at the base of his spine to never ease up.

Tate kissed across his jaw, Victor’s breathe heaving. Of course, of course he’d know when to break off, he knew everything about Victor.

“You ready, baby?” Tate asked, breath hot against the column of his throat.

The nickname made his skin flush. He just nodded, pressed his lips tight, not trusting himself to speak.

Tate’s hand left his thighs for the first time since he’d found his scar again. He held Victor’s face, tilting it down to look at him.

Their eyes met, both taking a moment to appreciate each other. The moment of peace didn’t last long as Tate twisted his fingers, making Victor whimper.

“Tell me, say it.” Tate said, voice dropped low enough to almost be a growl.

“I-I’m ready.” Victor stumbled out, whole body trembling now. “Please, please just fuck me.”

Tate nodded, self satisfied smile spread on his lips.

Tate pulled his fingers out of him, quickly fumbling with his zipper. Victor’s legs shook as he supported himself up, almost relieved to be empty but excited at the prospect of what was to come.

Victor jolted as he felt the blunt, slick head of Tate’s cock brush against his hole. He buried his head in the crook of Tate’s neck as he pushed in slowly, biting down on the junction of his shoulder and neck to muffle his whines. With a sharp snap he bottomed out before easing himself back out again.

Victor’s eyes fluttered shut as Tate set a steady rhythm rocking up into him, deep and slow. One of Tate’s hands wrapped tightly around his thigh over his initial, the other securely around his throat.

The pressure around his throat was easy as first, then slowly building, lulling heavy like Tate’s deep thrusts into him. His eyes snapping open as he squeezed startlingly tight for a blink of an eye.

With far too easy control over him Tate pushed Victor off of his neck, maneuvering him to just look at Tate.

That damn smirk was there again, lazy and smug. His eyes moved over Victor’s face, grin only widening as he examined him, tilting his hips in just a way to press right against his sweet spot.

Victor clamped a hand over his mouth to keep himself from crying out.

Too much, too much.

Not enough.

Tate broke eye contact first, flicking down across the expanse of his torso. Tate released his throat, reaching between them but ignoring Victor’s neglected cock. Instead he pressed just below it where the slightest bulge swelled. He pressed hard against it, rubbing in circles with the meat of his palm.

Victor gritted his teeth to keep a yelp at bay, his moans bubbling up but dying in his throat.

Only Tate could hear them at this distance, each sharp inhale and bit back cry only fueling his ego.

Victor shakily removed his hand from his mouth.

“I’m close.” Victor warned, his voice impossibly deep now, rasping almost.

Tate’s eyes flashed back to him.

“Yeah, yeah me too.” Tate said, his voice wavering.

Victor was so close it almost hurt, he needed release or else he felt like he was gonna go mad. But when they both came it’d be over.

Tate’s warm hands would never touch him again, he’d never hear the lilt in Tate’s voice when he taunted or ever see his dumb fucking pretty face.

But the whiskey made it all too easy to just give it up, to come embarrassingly fast for Victor’s standards. And that’s what he did when Tate finally wrapped a hand around his weeping cock.

With a few strokes he came with a muffled cry, spilling out between them, painting their chests sticky with cum.

He kept rocking his hips through it, body limp and over sensitive as Tate kept fucking him through it. Tate was close, his thrusts losing tempo and getting sporadic before he quickly followed Victor and came inside of him with a quiet groan. Victor couldn’t help the groan that escaped him as he felt Tate fill him up.

Damn Tate for his stupid fuckin ability to be quiet.

Victor leaned close again, catching him in a lazy kiss, helping each other through the aftershocks.

Victor panted against Tate’s lips, hands smoothing down his nape. He lifted himself and pulled Tate out of him with a sigh.

Victor resettled on his lap, hands idly twirling the curls at the back of Tate’s head.

“I always thought your cum was extra sticky for some reason.” Tate whispered, prompting an out of breath laugh from both of them.

“Whatever. That’s cause you’re a spitter, and spitters are quitters.” Victor said.

Tate made an “pfft.” to accentuate his eye roll.

“Pretty sure I swallowed you every time you were lucky enough to get a blowjob.” He said.

To prove his point Tate reached between them and scooped up a finger of Victor’s tacky cum before licking it off his finger no problem.

Victor’s face flushed, fucking hell was that hot but all that came out was a laugh at how much of a shit he was.

“That’s not a whole load, Princess.” Victor said.

Tate rolled his eyes again.

“You’re right. I shouldn’t argue, you’d know better, you’ve swallowed half a sperm bank.” Tate said, grin wide and shit-eating.

Victor smacked the side of his head as he laughed.

Victor couldn’t help but laugh too.

Why couldn’t he stay up top? Why couldn’t he stay like this with Tate? Didn’t he deserve some happiness?

He had to remind himself that even if this Tate talked like his, walked like his, Hell, even fucked like his, this wasn’t his Tate. His Tate was dead, long gone.

“Hey, you should get dressed and rest. I’ll put my jeans on and sneak to the kitchen to clean myself up.” Victor said.

He needed to leave before he would forget again, get sucked into this Tate he thought he knew.

“Are you sure? That’s normally my job.” Tate asked.

Victor just shook his head.

“Nah, I’ll get myself some water too. Just, rest.” He said getting off Tate, legs only wobbling just a bit.

He quickly gathered his clothes and hurriedly put them on, save for his shirt.

Before he left the study Tate gently grabbed his wrist, gently tugging on him to lean down.

Victor obliged, kissing him gently.

Maybe Tate could sense it, sense something was off. But that was Tate, if he did, he would have either lashed out or ignored it. He was going to ignore it.

Victor broke the kiss with hesitation. His hand holding onto Tate’s cheek one last time before wordlessly leaving the study, shutting the door closed behind him before rushing to the kitchen and scrubbing his stomach clean.

Then.

He made his way back down to the basement, to his closet, tucking himself carefully in the furthest corner.

Softly, as quietly as he could, he began to weep. Weeping for what he could never have.

Chapter Text

Something must’ve happened. Victor hadn’t come up to feed Jeffrey in three nights now and Violet was beginning to worry.

Tate’s crying had been a lot worse lately, he’d been throwing himself at her feet like some fucking loser, sobbing and moping, crying to anyone who’d listen. Tate’s cries had become just white noise to her until she heard cry out for Victor one restless night as she waited for Victor to feed her brother.

Why would that bastard have the audacity to have Victor’s name in his mouth, have the gall to call out for him. She needed to know from Victor directly.

That was the only reason she was looking for him in the basement, somewhere she absolutely loathed to go, especially alone.

“Victor?!” She called “it’s me, Violet! We need to talk!”

No reply.

Moody shithead. She’d be really upset if she wasn’t concerned for him.

“Victor, goddamnit! Come out! We can smoke on the porch if you want!” She yelled walking around the basement, avoiding the extra shadowy areas.

She paused when she heard sniffling from a corner, her head whipping around to see a small slotted door to the water closet, something she’d overlooked multiple times.

Carefully she crept over and threw open the door, inside sat Victor curled in on himself. He looked like he’d been crying, face red and eyes watery.

The closet was normal for about a foot in until you realized how the walls were thickly coated in old, crusted, dried up blood.

“Hey,” he said, rubbing his tear stained cheeks.

“Hey,” she replied. “This is kinda a shithole, buddy. This where you’ve been for the past twenty some years?”

Victor nodded.

“C’mon, I promised you smokes.” She said reaching her hand out.

Victor took it, scrambling up and following behind her timidly.

Something was definitely wrong, his eyes were furtive and his posture slumped in on himself. He barely made conversation, which was definitely out of character for him.

Violet felt Victor stiffen and rush through the main floor, getting to the back door and outside as quick as he could.

Still wordless, Victor climbed up top the brick border of the deck with grace and ease. Violet had to remind herself that he’d probably done this many times with Tate, long before she was even born.

He reached down and picked her up with the same ease as he climbed it, placing her next to him.

Violet huffed in amusement.

She packed her smokes and fished two out for them. She passed him his and her lighter but he lit hers for her first.

Dumb fuckin gentle giant. She watched as he took a deep drag, eyes sliding shut.

“I used to smoke menthols.” Victor said, puffing out his smoke as he talked. “I was a pack a day kinda kid.”

Violet raised her eyebrows.

“Yeah, you seem like the type to smoke that bullshit.” Violet said, blowing her smoke at him.

Victor laughed.

Laughed.

It was deep, like the bass at a concert that shook your loose clothing.

“Hey, I’ve smoked a lot worse.” Victor said with a shrug.

She swung her legs up, crossing her legs and facing towards him. He was smoking like a goddamn chimney, huffing down drag after a drag like a fish returning to water.

“Yeah, yeah sure. You seem like the type of dude who would order pineapple on his pizza just so no one else eats it.” She said kicking at him lamely.

Victor shook his head incredulously, pulling some dumbass face that made her stifle a laugh.

“You’re telling me you don’t like pineapple on your pizza? How can you say you’re from California if you don’t like pineapple on your pizza.” He said throwing his hands up.

“I think the entirety of California would disagree with you. Plus I’m from Boston so, if that’s a qualifier for a Californian please never sign me up.” She said, before pulling an equally stupid face in return.

Victor’s moment of incredulity was gone now, his face softened.

“You’re from Boston? Is it nice?” He asked, flicking his cigarette ash.

Violet nodded.

“Yeah, yeah. It’s just really cold and miserable in the winter but fall is really pretty. You get like, actual seasons, not this bullshit weather.” Violet said. “We actually lived in a suburb outside of Boston but it wasn’t hard to get to the city.”

“What’s snow like?” He asked, eyes cast to the ground, like he was embarrassed to ask.

“Cold.” She said.

“Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. I mean, what is it like when it’s everywhere?” He asked.

Violet paused.

She hadn’t thought about it, hadn’t thought to think about it. It was always just there, until it wasn’t, until she was whisked away to California without even a say in the matter.

“It’s like a ocean sometimes. My room was in the finished attic so I’d look out in the mornings and I’d feel like I was on my own little island in it.” She explained. “It’s like a blanket too, when you get a lot of it. The winds used to howl and whip against my room at night when it was a blizzard but it only made me more excited because I knew when I’d wake up school would be canceled and I could just stay on my island.”

Victor smiled, head tilting to the side. His smile looked bittersweet. He deserved to see snow, he deserved a better life, an actual life. She wished she met Victor first instead of Tate.

“It sounds nice.” He said. “Can...can you tell me more?”

He was a good fucking kid goddamn it. It made her blood boil to know that his last idea of the outside world was that it hated him, that he deserved only Tate. No one deserved Tate.

She put her cigarette out, Victor had already finished his.

“Yeah, yeah of course.” She said “uh, well. There’s different types of snow. There’s like thin powdery snow that’s basically useless and annoying, it’s pretty but like, you can’t do anything with it. Then there’s packing snow, when I was younger I used to build this big igloos for me and my parents, even though I could only fit inside. Then there was sledding snow, which is the best kind, it’s like a blend of the two, where it’s slick and sturdy.”

She should’ve gone sledding more, she should’ve played in the snow more, she should’ve enjoyed being fourteen more. She wished she could go back in time and slap herself for not realizing how quickly it was going to go away.

She should’ve slapped her younger self for other things too.

She hadn’t realized she was crying until Victor put his hand on her shoulder.

“I’m sorry.” Victor said.

She sniffed and shook her head.

“No. No. What for? I’m just, being dumb.” She said wiping the tears off with the back of her hand. “It’s just...I thought I was over the whole being dead thing until, shit like this pops up.”

“I understand. You never really get over it, you’ll be fine until...something happens and then it’s like you’re dying all over again. That same sense of being trapped, the hopelessness, all that. You just have to fight it, whatever sense of darkness that it would be easier to fall into you just have to resist.” Victor said.

Violet picked her head up, looking him in his bloodshot eyes. He was crying too.

“Why are you crying?” She asked.

Victor’s lips pursed, his eyes darting away.

“I did something.” He muttered.

Violet pulled from his grasp.

“Don’t you dare tell me you also raped someone’s mom.” She said “or anything in that bullshit vein.”

Victor shook his head.

“No! No. Nothing like that, I, I just- I can’t lie to you or keep it from you.” He stammered, pulling in on himself.

“Spit. It. Out.” She said straightening herself.

She may have been a full foot shorter than him but God as her witness she would beat the shit outta him if he was anything like Tate.

“I had sex with Tate.” He said “again.”

Violet sat back.

For a moment she just stared at him, watching as he wrapped his arms around himself and cried.

Her throat tightened in anger, jaw setting as her mind rushed for things to say.

How fucking dare he.

Of course that’s why Tate was crying and being such a lousy piece of shit. Her jaw clenched at the thought of Tate, especially over the thought of him begging to Victor.

She trusted Victor, she thought he was better, thought he knew what he was doing, that they were in their hatred for Tate together.

“When?” Violet managed.

“Christmas Eve.” Victor said.

Christmas fucking Eve! She was with her goddamn family! She had invited him! But no! He decided to fuck Tate!

Her fists balled at her sides, without much thinking she quickly landed a hit on his arm.

Victor didn’t even flinch.

“I’m sorry.” He said.

“I’m sorry? Is that it? I thought we were together on this? I thought I had a friend who knew what it was like to be manipulated by him but instead you just go back to him like that?!” She yelled.

“Violet, I regret it.” He urged.

“Could you have stopped him? Did you want to say no?” She said, scrambling off the wall and onto the ground.

“Yes! I mean, no. I could have, and I didn’t want to say no. I just-“

“Just what, Victor? Just what?” She snapped.

Victor pursed his lips, eyes red with tears.

“I’m just sorry. I know I did something wrong but it’d be worse to keep it from you.” Victor said.

Okay fuck him for actually having a proper apology.

But it didn’t matter.

What’s done is done.

“Then why didn’t you stop?” She asked.

“Because I didn’t want to. Because I’ve been alone and he’s the only one who understands.” He whispered.

“I understand, Victor! I know! You wanted to fuck him, that’s it!” She yelled.

Victor paused, big green eyes watering at her. He sniffled and nodded, not saying anything else.

She huffed for breath, her blood boiling just below her skin. She wanted him to suffer, wanted him to understand what she had been through, to find a friend only to betray her, like everyone else in her life. She wanted to lash out, maybe not just at him, maybe at Tate too, maybe at everyone who hurt her.

But she realized that what the house wanted.

The house wanted her anger, wanted her to falter and slip into the darkness with everyone else.

No.

She was stronger than that. That made her feel a little bit better, knowing that she was stronger than the fucking house, despite it taking absolutely everything from her.

Perhaps she wasn’t going to forgive Victor and sing com by yah with him but she could realize when the house was twisting her up.

“Just,” she paused. “Fuck. Smoke the rest of my cigarettes, I don’t give a fuck. We can...we can talk more about it tomorrow, I’m going to feed Jeffery.”

With that she turned on her heels and slammed the door shut and pounded up the stairs, once again betrayed.

Chapter Text

In the sunlight he still felt dark. He moved about the house aimlessly, crying out in deaf ears, sometimes for Violet, sometimes for Victor.

It was New Year’s Day, just a week ago he held Victor in his arms, now he was worse off than before. It felt like the bruises Victor left behind were tattooed on his skin, a constant reminder of their old days.

It felt like he’d always known that Victor was going to leave him again but it didn’t keep the hurt at bay. He should’ve realized that it was a fleeting interaction from the moment Victor held his face and slurred out a compliment. Instead he turned a blind eye to it, ignored the feeling in the pit of his stomach, ignored the need to ask to him to stay.

He would’ve left anyway. Tate would have let him.

Vic should’ve left a long time ago, he shouldn’t have dragged his baby down. That’s always what happened, he dragged Violet down too.

He held on too tight and ended up choking out any spark in anyone he loved.

Did he really love? Was it love?

No. Of course he loved. That was one of the only things that managed to get through to him.

Hatred. Apathy. Love.

Hatred made his blood feel like acid, apathy felt like a brick on his chest, love felt like a low thrum at the base of his skull that rose quietly until it swallowed him whole.

His love for Violet was easy, it was instantaneous, unquestioned.

Love made it so easy to bubble over, to lash out, to feel like green eyed demon crawl out, to make him act like everyone else in this shithole world.

He sat on the porch, feeling some semblance of relief, fiddling idly with the empty pack of cigarettes. He’d seen Victor out there the night before, his pretty face shadowed by smoke in moonlight, so pale, so delicate.

It made his throat close up to know Victor was gone like Violet.

Tate had held him again, touched him again, loved him again. He tasted like black licorice and iron, his skin smooth and soft like velvet, his touch knowing.

To be with him again was like falling into your bed after a long day. Welcomed, warm, safe. It had been so long since he felt that, since he belonged.

He hauled his knees to his chest, pulling tight as he cried.

He was alone. Again.

Like before Victor, like before Violet.

That’s all anybody ever did, they always left. They beat him, they abuse him, they leave him and wonder why he’s the monster.

Victor promised he’d never leave, that they could be together forever. Violet promised that she’d be with him, that she loved him.

Did Victor ever love him?

Tate always loved him, from the moment he saw Victor in his spot in the lunchroom he loved him. Well, he wanted to punch him first for taking his table but that fizzled out the moment he saw his freckled face. Maybe he only liked Victor when he saw his face, but he loved him when spoke for the first time and told Tate he had the face of a dead ferret.

They were supposed to run off into the night together, move to middle of fucking nowhere and just be.

He never understood why he did it, their fight that day was no different from any other day.

Tate had never been bothered by blood, but that blood was different, there was so much of it, leaving the already pale Vic sallow. It was easier to shut down than realize his baby had finally done it, finally let that stupid fucking inner voice win.

Maybe Tate didn’t have that inner voice. It was an echo chamber, just him alone, like always.

So many nights they spent comparing scars, turning blind eyes to new ones when he should’ve been focusing on them.

He should’ve told him he loved him. Maybe he would’ve stayed if he told him, stayed alive, stayed with him.

With Violet he got to hold her without that sense of danger, kiss her without a second thought. He loved her carelessly, with Victor he was too afraid to admit it.

Then again he told Violet he loved her and look where he was, sitting on a porch of a house he wa killed in, cradling an empty box of cigarettes, sobbing over two people who’d rather die again than be with him.

He jolted as a gentle hand touched his shoulder.

His head whipped around to see Constance looking over him. He glared at her but accepted the touch, not yanking away as he would have normally.

“I saw you crying from the kitchen.” She said holding his face.

“What about the baby? Did you leave it on the ground or have you eaten it yet?” Tate snarled.

Constance smacked the back of his head.

“That was always your problem, Tate. I always try to take care of you, I always made opportunities for you, you never appreciated it! You always ruined it!” She snapped.

“Of course. You’ve always been the supporting, loving mother, haven’t you? So charitable.” He said pulling from her grasp.

Constance grabbed him again.

“What haven’t I done for you? When have I slammed a door in your face?” She scolded, waving her bony finger in his face.

“You’re such a lying whore, huh? You idolized the idea of me, you liked me because I was your perfect looking child, pretended like you didn’t notice when I was running around with my hand down another boy’s pants.” Tate snapped.

“Because you’re not like that! Because you deserve a nice girl like Violet! You didn’t need that white trash fag around you! Hell, if I knew that fruit would always be a clinger on I would’ve gave him some rat poison to go.” Constance said with a roll of her eyes, like she was exasperated.

Wait.

Wait.

Tate turned to her, eyes wide.

“What...what did you say?” He asked, slowly sinking away.

“You think I couldn’t tell? You two were worse than a bunch of cats in heat. I wanted that kid outta here but who’d know you really cared for him.” She shrugged.

She didn’t.

She fucking, didn’t.

“You killed him?” He managed.

“Listen, when a cat is that sick you’re just putting it down. You don’t know what people like him carry, darling, I was protecting you.” Constance said reaching for him. “He was a passing fascination and you needed help getting out of your phase.”

Tate stood and stepped back.

“He wasn’t some phase! I loved him! I have always loved him! He was the only part of my life worth living, a life you ruined, a life I didn’t ask to be apart of.” He said. “I had never loved anyone, until I met him. I never, in a day of my life, loved you.”

“I don’t think you remember, sweetie. You know what this house does to you.” She scrambled.

“Does to me? I was glad to be outta this shithole until you dragged me back here. Also since when has been handing out blowjobs been a crime in this family, you’ve been doing it since I can remember-“

“Tate Langdon. I have stood by you, I have tried, and I know in my heart of hearts that I did not raise a queer.” Constance said.

“Leave.” He said, fist clenching. “You need to leave because I don’t want to see your miserable face here for all of eternity.”

Constance just huffed.

“You don’t talk to me like that.” She said.

“Do you want me to thank you? For murdering my love? You want me to fall to my knees and tell you that I forgive you for the monster you created?” He said.

“Don’t you drag me into your actions.” She said lurching towards him.

“Well I can’t name another family besides the Manson family where murdering is a shared trait.” Tate said, easily pulling away.

“You do not blame me for that!” She yelled grabbing him.

She held him by the shoulders, nails digging into his shoulders. When she held him like that he was a trapped child again, frightened and unable to move as his mother was about to beat him bloody, but of course not where anyone could see.

He could’ve moved, he could have pushed her to the ground, she was so fragile now, but instead he was frozen and petrified, unable to move against her.

They stood like that for a moment before Constance let go as Tate’s tears welled over again. She always had that effect, to look him in the eye and leave him defenseless.

“I never meant for you to be like this. I never did anything to hurt you on purpose more than I had to.” She said wiping her own tears.

“It doesn’t change that you did. Everything you’ve ever done has made me hate you more, every brick in the wall between us was made by you.” He said, still frozen in place.

“From the moment you were born I knew you were never going to love me, and I’ve spent every day after that trying to make you.” She said reaching out to wipe his tears but he caught her hand and pushed it back at her.

She took the hint, pulling her hand to her chest before nodding.

She left with her head ducked low, still crying tears that only made Tate’s blood boil. Tate watched on the porch as she stood beyond the gates.

“I always tried.” She called after him as he turned and slammed the door behind him.

His frame shook as he gasped for breath, eyes sliding shut, leaning back against the door, smacking his head back with a “thunk.”

Carefully he opened his eyes to see Victor standing before him. Green eyes wide and watering at him, not daring to leave his gaze. His hands wringing, lips quivering. He was still wearing that ratty Radiohead t shirt, barefooted and hands covered in dried blood.

“Did you meant it? Do you love me?” Victor whispered.

The question shocked him. It was always so obvious but never spoken. He thought Vic knew, he thought he understood despite never saying it.

He should’ve said it from the moment he kissed him.

“Always.”

Chapter Text

Victor brushed his one hand across the inside of his thigh, the other pressed to his lips. He was more alone than ever, trapped as he muffled his cries in fear of Tate finding his hiding spot.

His heart shattered to hear Tate cry, knowing that those fat tears must be rolling down his sunken cheeks, big black eyes watering and soft.

Once he held Tate as he cried, brushing tears away, holding Tate close against his chest to hear his heartbeat. In the cover of night they used to be wide awake, not even doing anything, just content to be near each other with the feeling of safety, to know they could reach over and kiss each other because they simply felt like it.

Now the nights were as fuzzy as days to Victor, just alone and broken, no point to crying because he had cried for everything he could.

Since tasting the rest of the house again, he could feel himself beginning to get stir crazy like in the beginning, his long spindly legs aching to stretch and walk.

Tate’s crying had stopped, perhaps he’d tired himself out.

Violet had assured him that he would just cry at you, that he would be fine but Victor wasn’t worried about Tate.

He feared that if he saw those inkwell eyes he’d falter, pick him up in his arms, hold his face, whisper that he was there for him.

Violet still hadn’t forgiven him, which made everything else worse. Furthering the reason to not go topside, so he wouldn’t be stupid anymore.

He wanted to be upset over what he’d done, to regret it, but it only made his skin itch for more, reminding him of what he used to have, like smoking a cigarette with Violet before going cold turkey again.

Did Tate still want him? Did he still want Tate?

Victor wished he could say in their time together he could be certain of Tate’s feelings, but no. Victor spent his time not with Tate waiting for the eventual call of “Hey, you were fun, but it’s over.” Which felt like it was coming everyday. Their shining relationship highlights consisted of binge drinking, getting high, fucking like rabbits, crying, and tip toeing around their feelings.

It didn’t help that Victor was in love with Tate through it all, hanging on each word, stealing glances, giddy whenever they touched.

They talked about growing old, moving in together, leaving California behind while every other loser went chasing towards it. But no, the words never fell out.

“I love you.”

Three simple fucking words that couldn’t come out from either.

Holy shit did Victor want to though. He wanted to when Tate would wake up next to him, blonde hair looking like a tumbleweed, eyes foggy, just smiling up at him like the world’s cutest shrubbery. Or when Tate blew him for the first time, Victor almost went crazy from not letting it spill out when he learned that Tate didn’t have a gag reflex.
Victor especially wanted to tell Tate that he loved him when Tate cried.

When Tate cried it was almost art, cheeks red and blotchy, lips puffy and curled, it wasn’t pretty in any sense but it made Victor appreciate it all the more.

To see someone so walled up, so perfect on the outside slip a little and be vulnerable, maybe even ugly.

Okay, he was getting too in his head, he needed to walk, maybe talk to Violet. His hands shakily turned the doorknob and carefully made his way out of the basement.

He climbs the stairs carefully, his eyes squinting as sunlight filtered through the house.

Had it really been that long since he’d seen sunlight?

It made his skin prickle, breath easier.

Water. He wanted water.

He moved to the kitchen, pulling out a glass and quickly filled it up. The whole kitchen was different, he didn’t like it, it was fancy. He observed this as he chugged down glass after glass.

So long, it had been so long and water tasted like manna from heaven. He drank, he drank until his stomach hurt, like he was shotgunning beers.

He only stopped when he felt like he was going to throw up, almost dropping the glass as he clutched the sink.

He wiped over his face, pressing his face into his hands. He stood there for a moment, just feeling the heavy weight of the water in his stomach, sighing in relief. He jolted up when he heard yelling.

He leaned over the sink and looked out the window, seeing Tate’s moppy blonde hair sticking out easily, but he was with another figure, a woman.

Constance.

His blood ran cold.

He pulled away from the sink and clutched a hand over his mouth.

He never thought he’d see that crow bitch ever again.

He moved to the study, where he had a full view of the porch. From here he could see Constance looming over Tate. How old she had gotten, it made him almost giddy to know that devil bitch was going to die.

Tate had straightened himself from her grip, leaning into her now. Victor pressed against the window to listen closer.

“He wasn’t some phase! I loved him! I have always loved him! He was the only part of my life worth living, a life you ruined, a life I didn’t ask to be apart of.” Tate yelled. “I had never loved anyone, until I met him. I never, in a day of my life, loved you.”

Victor turned and slid to the ground.

Was he talking about him? Victor, him?

He pressed a hand over his mouth. If it was true, if he meant it, that changed everything.

He should’ve known, always should’ve known, should have admitted it to Tate.

Maybe things would have turned out different. Maybe things would be better, to stop being in their own heads and just be together.

Maybe it would’ve been worse.

Maybe Victor would have admitted it and Tate would too and it’d only intertwine them deeper, made Victor sicker, Tate more delusional.

But if he loved him, he did all those things despite it, committed atrocities despite it.

He heard them continue on with their yelling, his hands covering his ears now. He didn’t want to hear anymore but if he moved he’d surely be seen.

His eyes watered, he tried to keep himself from crying but he really couldn’t help it. Damn him for drinking water.

Suddenly the yelling stopped, footsteps followed, heading to the door.

Be it Tate or Constance it didn’t matter, he had to leave, he had to get back to the basement before either saw him.

He gathered himself up and rushed out of the study, stopping in his tracks as he heard the door close. He turned quickly on his heels to see him.

That flat black shark eyed bastard.

But then, in that moment, Tate’s eyes were closed, he was just resting there, cheeks tear stained as more trickled down.

Victor was frozen. Eyes unable to move like the rest of him, heart beating a million time a minute.

There he was again, just a few paces away, cheeks red and face twisted up in pain. There was the love of his life. All other thoughts pushed aside, the deepest and most primal parts of him screaming “stay, protect, comfort.”

Tate opened his eyes, widening in shock at Victor’s presence.

“Did you mean it? Do you love me?” Victor said, before Tate could say anything.

Tate paused, eyes misty, small smile pursed on his lips, not happy, but not sad.

“Always.” Tate breathed out. “I’ve always loved y-“

Victor didn’t need to know anymore, without hesitation he rushed for Tate, grabbing him in a kiss.

The kiss was salty from tears, Tate’s cheeks held tight in his hands, faces pressed against one another like they’d die all over again without the touch.

It didn’t matter, nothing mattered. Fuck it, fuck everything. This felt right.

Victor broke the kiss, pulling back enough, hands still holding his face.

“I love you too.” Victor whispered, voice shaking.

He was done pretending, done lying to himself, he just wanted to love and be loved in return, he was done with his solitude.

Tate stared up at him, mouth moving but no words forming, just a small smile before surged forward again, kissing him with everything he had.

Victor cradled the back of his head, fingers happily tracing his initials there. He loved Tate, Tate loved him.

“I love you too.” Tate parroted, breaking the kiss. “Stay.”

Victor nodded, pulling back to wipe a tear off of Tate’s cheek.

“Yeah, yeah I will. I should’ve always stayed, I should’ve never left, I should’ve never killed myself.” He said, sniffling. “I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault.”

Tate’s eyes widened. He reached up and held his face.

“No…” he trailed, breath shaking, “no, baby. That was never your fault, Constance she… she did something, rat poisoning I think. She, she killed you, Vic. You just…”

“I just shortened the process.” Victor muttered.

All those years, all the guilt of leaving his family, of his dumb decision, the nights when he could see the cuts he dug into himself. It wasn’t him, it wasn’t his fault.

Victor took a moment to just breathe, resting his head on Tate’s shoulder.

He was killed.

Well, dead was dead, but, killed was a lot different from killing yourself.

“I…” Victor started but didn’t finish.

“I know.” Tate whispered.

“I don’t think I ever wanted to kill myself. I wanted to stay alive, with you, with my family. Tate, I miss my family, I miss you.“ Victor cried. “I miss sunlight, and water, and dumb fucking baloney sandwiches. I… I never wanted to die.”

“I know, I know.” Tate cooed. “I missed you, more than anything else I’ve missed you.”

“Me too.” Victor said.

Tate leaned up, kissing him again. It was an ugly, tear filled, intimate but chaste kiss, just letting each other know that they were really there.

“It’s okay,” Tate whispered, breaking the kiss as Victor cried more, pushing Victor’s shaggy hair outta his face. “It’s okay, it’s okay, I promise.”

Victor just sighed, resting his head on Tate’s shoulders, sniffling. Tate brushed his hands through his slightly matted hair.

The silence was heavy, not bad just, heavy.

“You...you smell real bad, when was the last time you showered?” Tate said, just barely laughing.

Victor snorted in laughter, just pressing his nose to Tate’s neck, making him squirm and laugh louder.

There it was, that warm happy feeling he hadn’t felt in forever, only something Tate could incite.

“1994.” Victor said.

“Yeah, yeah, you gotta shower. You need new clothes, I’ll let you have some of mine like we used to.” Tate said trailing his fingers down his nape.

“Sounds nice.” Victor muttered. “Sounds great, actually.”

Chapter Text

Things weren’t really looking up for Tate. Ever since his 18th birthday it kinda sucked, even in college he couldn’t find his flock. Though he was happy to be away from his mommy dearest.

It was still his freshman year, he was trying to things, definitely trying new things. He didn’t have much to mope about nowadays, he was just lonely, and confused.

Being in college changed him a lot. He was able to see the groups he wanted to be in, emulate he fashions he liked. Plus it drove his mother crazy to see his outfits, she nearly stabbed him at thanksgiving.

He never knew how cheap it was to be goth, it just took a little effort was all, the glares and frightened looks were worth every ounce of it.

On the matter of trying new things, he was very out of his element.

The neon lights and continuous thumping of Olivia Newton John was almost enough to immediately drive Tate out of the gay bar. Instead he ordered a drink, finding that it was very strong and very cheap, settling happily in his stomach.

Though that wasn’t a good enough reason for Tate to stay. Tate had only recently made out with one dude in the back of a party, and since he was trying new things he thought he’d explore that avenue, but currently, it was no dice. He hated people, he hated pop music, he hated dancing. He was just being an idiot.

The club was flashy, everyone with bottle blonde hair, not that Tate could judge, and high waisted shorts, barely there shirts like sorority girls or something.

No, Tate wasn’t staying for that, and he wasn’t going to leave until he finally worked up the nerve or got drunk enough to speak to the young man who stuck out like a sore thumb on the dance floor.

His jet black hair was spiked in every which way, his face was pale, carefree and blissful as he danced. Even in his dress he was different, where others wore hot pants, he wore ripped jeans akin to Tate’s own, instead of cut off t shirts he opted for a black bleached stained tank top. He stood much much taller than the rest, easily spotted in the crowd.

Tate situated himself in a booth away from the dance floor but close enough where he could see the young man easily. He sipped his whiskey as he watched him dance and dance, a parade of various men trying to dance with him, only for a song or two before the next would come along, placing their hands on his hips all the same and dancing like they weren’t going to be replaced.

None of the comings and goings of the strangers seemed to bother the raven haired young man, only leaning into whatever present body that had earned his favor. Never too personal, never too much before the next partner would come along. He even seemed bored at some, shoving and moving onto the next if the partner got too handsy too quickly.

He felt like he was watching a private show, how the young man rolled his hips to the beat. Tate’s face flushed red as he moved back and forth to whatever Madonna song was blasting.

Tate was being sleazy, the poor dude didn’t deserve to get stared at by some creep like Tate. Hell, Tate didn’t even know what he was doing here, he’d stayed far too long for it to be just checking him out, at this point it was just gross.

He was just staring at his drink now, maybe for too long. He had drank a few.

Okay only four but Tate had always been a lightweight.

He was considering another, maybe he could summon some liquid courage.

With a sigh put his head in his heads. He was a fucking loser. Now he had to wait before he could drive home, so he was just stuck there, not even wanting to look at the young man anymore, feeling guilty.

Tate apparently was too buzzed to notice the figure next to him, sliding into his booth.

“Why have you been you staring at me all night?” A voice rang out over the club music, deeper and heavier than the bass of the speakers. “You ever gonna work up the nerve to say something?”

Tate jolted up, eyes wide to see the stranger, sitting next to him, nearly inches apart.

“I noticed you look different.” Tate yelled back, leaning closer to the young man.

The young man rested his hand on Tate’s neck as he leaned in.

“Lots of people do. I can say the same.” The young man said before sitting back, looking over Tate and smiling. He reached out and flicked one of the safety pins on his jean jacket, smiling in content as it rattled. “You sew all your patches on yourself?” He asked running his fingers over his Dead Kennedys patch across his heart.

“Yeah, be kinda lame if I didn’t.” Tate shrugged, eyes following the young man’s hands as he fiddled with the studs on his shoulders.

“I agree. This jacket would be nothing, kinda commercial if you didn’t, it’s all very personal, y’know?” He said resting his hand on Tate’s neck. “Dead Kennedys are pretty fucking cool dude.”

“Yeah they’re one of my favorite bands, I own all their records.” Tate said.

Where had this guy been this whole year? In a matter of seconds he seemed to understand everything about Tate.

The young man grinned like a crocodile, wide and mischievous, as if he knew a secret that he couldn’t share.

“I’m Tate.” He introduced, the young man nodding as he held closer to him.

“You’re pretty cute, Tate. I’m Victor.” He said. “Can I see the rest of your jacket? Like can you turn around?”

Tate nodded, shuffling awkwardly around and only lightly bumping into the table as he turned around, his feet propped up on the booth like a kid.

He shivered as the young man, Victor, traced various patches on his jacket, carefully running his fingers down the notches of his spine. Tate bit his lip as he turned red, focusing on the stain on the wall and not the easy touch of the stranger. He felt like he was going to spontaneously combust if Victor continued.

Victor rested his hand on his shoulders where his studs were placed, leaning forward and said something else but Tate couldn’t figure it out over the new song playing.

“What?!” Tate asked.

Tate turned around too quick and smacked his side on the table. His face grew an even deeper red in embarrassment.

Victor only laughed, a choking and squeaking sound, something so unexpected from the man shrouded in all black, wrapped in a cloak of mystery.

“Are you okay?!” Victor asked reaching out to touch his sore side.

Tate winced but shook his head.

“I’m alright, what did you say?” He asked.

Victor situated himself even closer, practically in Tate’s lap, well, definitely in Tate’s lap. He towered over him. Tate couldn’t help but clutch and support him as he leaned down, lips just past his ear.

“I asked if you dance, Princess.” Victor said, his voice more gravelly than before, breath hot against his skin.

Tate barked a laugh, shaking his head.

“I don’t.” Tate said, turning to look at him, his face barely an inch away.

Now that he was closer Tate could see more about him. How a scar lined the bridge of his nose, how his freckles dotted sporadically everywhere across his face, how soft and pink his lips looked.

“It’s not really dancing, Tate. It’s swaying with an excuse to touch each other.” Victor said gesturing to the dance floor.

Out there was a sea of people loosely moving to the music and mostly just groping and grinding on one another.

“Nope. Still don’t dance.” He said shaking his head.

Victor frowned.

“Whatever. This music just isn’t your scene. Give me a minute, don’t go anywhere.” Victor said, pressing a quick kiss to his cheek before crawling off him and disappearing into the crowd.

Tate held his face where Victor had kissed him.

What the fuck was happening? He was sure he didn’t do any coke that night but, this was way too good to be true.

Maybe he wanted to rob him.

Before Tate could spiral further into his buzzed delusions Victor was back, crawling into his lap once more and cradling his face.

“Where did you go?” Tate asked.

“Nowhere. I know I just mentioned it, but you ever been told you’re hot before?” Victor said. “Something...there’s something about you.”

Victor sat back on his heels, hands just tracing over his face. He sat on Tate’s lap like he’d been there forever, fitting perfectly against him.

Tate knew he was attractive yeah, but he now was flushing like some idiot southern belle who got told she was pretty by some dumb beau. Hopefully Victor couldn’t see it in the club’s lighting.

“I could say the same, you’re something else.” Tate replied. “You talk to all the boys this way?”

Victor shook his head.

“No. I’ve just got a thing for gothy punk blondes that scream mommy issues.” He said holding Tate’s chin steady.

“Mommy issues? Really? What gives it away?” Tate laughed.

Victor shrugged.

“Took a guess, it’s 50/50 here, but I’m gonna say you got daddy issues too.” Victor said. “Also, no one happy with their parents comes into a gay nightclub in their full goth regalia.”

Tate laughed. He was so close to him now, almost enough to kiss. Maybe he was getting overconfident, like all the men who danced with Victor before him.

Victor moved first, leading the kiss. He kissed him deep and fast, far too experienced to be sloppy, tongues sliding against one another. His thumbs smoothed over the sides of Tate’s face, happily humming.

Tate experimentally tightened his grip on his waist, Victor apparently appreciated, gasping against his lips.

He pulled back suddenly, head popping up like a prairie dog as the current song faded out. Hastily he got off Tate’s lap, grabbing his hands and pulling him towards the dance floor.

“Hey, wait, I don’t dance.” Tate said shaking his head but not yet pulling away.

“Don’t worry, I can lead.” Victor assured as the song began to change.

Heavy bass thumped from the speakers as Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” came ringing out. Victor’s grin grew wide, guiding him deeper until they were in the middle of the dance floor, bringing Tate flush against him, chest to chest.

“Did you do this for me?” Tate asked.

“Maybe. C’mon, here, hold onto my waist.” Victor said positioning his hands on his lithe hips.

Victor put his arms over his shoulders, swaying back and forth. So not exactly dancing just, moving together. Still Tate felt lost, he’d never danced like this before, he wanted to be good at it, especially for Victor.

Victor’s hands clutched Tate close, gently scratching his nails down his back over his coat.

The gazed of other men towards Victor were unavoidable, apparently missing the memo that he was Tate’s now, even if it was for the moment. Tate felt sudden possessiveness over the near stranger, wanting everyone to know that he was off limits.

Tate leaned up, freeing one of his hands to grab Victor by the jawline and pull him into a kiss. Victor didn’t skip a beat before he kissed him back, melting into him.

All Tate could think of was the glares most likely upon him, maybe even disappointment in their gazes. In that moment Victor was his, fucking his, and they all needed to know.

Victor kissed him with finesse, already pinpointing what made Tate shudder and tense. He bit down on Tate’s lower lip, dragging his teeth across it. Tate shuddered, taking in a sharp breath with Victor capitalized on, sliding his tongue deep.

They still swayed, back and forth, Victor’s leg sliding in between his, grinding against his hardening cock. Tate hissed out, his eyes squeezing tight.

Victor must’ve sensed it, his kiss growing even more intense and quick like he was engulfed by a wildfire. He grinded against him, Tate almost sighing in relief when he felt Victor hard against him, letting him know he was into it as well, that Tate wasn’t going to be pushed away for getting too close to him.

Tate broke the kiss, holding onto Victor’s face as he pulled back. Victor was slack jawed, eyes glassy but focused solely on Tate. Without thinking Tate placed two fingers on Victor’s lips, his velvet soft tongue chasing out to lick them. With finesse and ease Victor bobbed his head down, eyes locked on Tate’s, unflinching, daring even, as he swirled his tongue around Tate’s thick fingers. Tate couldn’t break away from his stare even if he wanted to, he wanted to push harder, watch Victor take his fingers with grace as they almost gagged him.

Tate sighed, feeling his dick twitch in his pants at the sight and the feel. Slowly, deliberately he pulled his fingers out of Victor’s mouth, leaving an obscene string of spit between his lips and fingers. Tate quickly held his jaw, leaving it sticky with his own silvia. Victor tilted his head back, barring his throat out to him. Tate leaned into him, unable to deny such an offer. He bit down the side of his neck, stopping about halfway down to nip in earnest, sucking and laving in order to leave a deep purple bruise.

The song had changed, now Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” came blaring out. Normally Tate wouldn’t have noticed such a thing but he was listening oh so closely to Victor’s soft, choked back little whines.

Fuck.

Victor was so vocal, so eager to please, already turning himself inside out for Tate after some grinding and making out. Tate wished this could be more than some random club encounter. Tate wanted to lay him out, take him apart slowly, watch how his thighs would shake, get him to beg so sweetly with that low, low voice that Tate felt in his chest.

Victor pulled away from him, making his heart stop for a moment before Victor nodded his head to the back door.

“I could use some fresh air, pretty boy, what bout you?” Victor yelled over the music.

Tate simply nodded, holding onto his waist as he followed him through the crowd, eyes focused in on the back door ever approaching. Tate felt his stomach tie itself in knots, he wanted, he wanted more than anything else.

Victor held the door open for him and Tate slid out, sighing out against the cool night air. Victor was so close to him, now just one on one. He was even prettier like this, his face so feminine yet unmistakably masculine, the hallows of his cheeks deep and smoothly sweeping like the contours of a cat’s face, his eyes hooded and deep set, jaw strong and sharp.

Victor slowly walked towards him, backing him into a brick wall, his hands on either side of Tate’s head.

Tate’s breath hitched, the only warmth in the cold night air being Victor. He reached up and kissed him again, still hungry but less needy, not feeling the need to let everyone know. Victor slotted himself, hands slowly dragging down his side, hands warm and wide. His hands dipped underneath his shirt, feeling the soft skin of Tate’s stomach, licking into his mouth as Tate sighed.

This was so different from any other time he had made out with a girl, their hands were always small and soft, Victor’s were wide and calloused and it made him keen out.

Victor broke the kiss, dragging open mouthed kisses down his neck until he slid onto his knees before Tate, big green eyes staring up at him through dark eyelashes. Carefully he nudged his nose up under Tate’s shirt, tickling him lightly before Victor laid sloppy kisses over his stomach, nipping slightly.

Fuck, Tate felt like he was going to die, his cock was way too hard to just be trapped there, getting brushed against as Victor leaned into him.

“Is it okay if I blow you?” Victor asked, in between kisses across Tate’s stomach.

“Holy shit, yes. Please.” Tate rasped out.

Victor pulled away, lips in a smirk and eyes with a mischievous glint.

“You beg so pretty, princess. Do it again.” Victor said, painstaking taking his time undoing Tate’s belt.

Tate would turn himself inside out, stand on his head and recite the alphabet in French if Victor told him to right now.

“Please, please. Fuck. I need you to suck me off or I think I’m gonna die. Please, baby.” Tate rambled, only slightly wincing at the endearment that had slipped out.

Victor hummed, happy with Tate’s pleas. He easily fished Tate’s hard cock out, Tate hissed at the cold winters air.

Victor gave small, experimental kitten licks at the head, making Tate bite back a groan. Without warning Victor swallowed him down with expertise, Tate bit into his knuckles to keep down a shout.

His mouth was warm, soft, wet and so fucking good, tongue swirling, cheeks hollowing. Every girl who had done this was sloppy compared to this, lackluster and downright pathetic. Victor’s strong jaw helped him stretch wide and suck tight, creating spots behind Tate’s eyes and his thighs beginning to tremble.

Victor bobbed his head with a steady rhythm, taking him deeper each time, even when Tate felt the tight and soft casam of Victor’s throat. He tilted his head occasionally changing the angle when Tate felt himself begin to catch his footing, but Victor seemed to thrive off of the small sounds that escaped Tate.

“So good,” Tate whispered, “fuck, so good.”

Tate grabbed onto Victor’s curly hair, causing Victor moan in return as he gave it a sharp tug. Tate wanted to let go, snap his hips with a brutal pace and take, but Victor held his hands on Tate’s hips to keep steady.

Victor was good, so good. He was skilled, practiced and it showed, pulling off almost all the way just to lav over the sensitive head, sticky with pre come, bright red lips wrapped tightly around it. Heat began to pool in his belly, sparks lighting at the base of his spine, somehow electric and lulling at the same time. Jealousy bubbled in Tate as well, knowing that Victor wasn’t his, that he could easily go off and use his skills on some loser, someone who wouldn’t appreciate what they had under them.

Tate looked down at him, his wide eyes staring back up at him, looking far too pretty to be on his knees, but then again perfectly suited for it. Tate never wanted this to end, this fleeting chance encounter to be much more permanent in his life. His tongue was skilled, stroking the vein that ran under Tate’s cock, his muscles tensing. Tate cupped his face, pressing on his cheek with his thumb and feeling it on his dick through the fleshy wall of Victor’s cheek, Victor groaned sending the vibrations straight to Tate’s dick. He seemed to like it, getting used, like he was a means to an end, but he was so much more, perfect to be used but deserved so much more.

“Shit,” Tate muttered, taking in sharp breaths. “I’m close.”

Victor hummed his acknowledgment before doubling his efforts, setting a rough and brutal pace for them both. Tate banged his head back against the brick wall and he tried to steady himself, biting his lip to stay quiet because they were in a back alley after all.

Tate let out a deep breath as he came, feeling like a whip crack. A low growl came rumbling from chest, wordlessly crying out as he felt Victor swallow down every last drop like he was hungry for it, hands smoothing over his shaking thighs to ease him.

Victor eases off of him, tucking Tate back into his pants. Victor scrambled back to his feet, drawing Tate into a kiss, he could taste himself in the kiss.

“Hey, hey.” Victor muttered, his voice fucked out and hoarse. “You good?”

“Yeah.” Tate said.

A beeping sound came from seemingly nowhere causing both of them to jump.

“Ah fuck! Damien!” Victor exclaimed smacking his forehead.

Tate tilted his head to the side and squinted.

“My little brat baby brother, who I love, don’t worry. But I gotta you know, make sure he’s sleeping okay because I promised him that I’d be back to fuckin...this all sounds very fake and you probably don’t care! I am, sorry.” Victor said shaking his head.

Tate laughed, he was talkative, caring too.

“No, no it’s alright, this is when most guys in my position duck out right? So…” Tate trailed looking at the ground.

“Fuck, okay. So,” Victor paused fishing something from his back pocket. He raised a small object in victory, a stick of eyeliner. “Here’s my number…” he said drawing out the ‘r’ as he wrote down his number on Tate’s forearm.

Once done he leaned down a pressed a kiss next to it before holding out the eyeliner to Tate. Tate looked at him in puzzlement.

“You can write yours on me too, if you want. I’ll call you after I make my brother a fried baloney sandwich and oh my god I’m trying to be cool so you’ll call me but that is, not working out.” Victor said shifting back and forth.

Tate quickly took Victor’s eyeliner and scrawled down his number on Victor’s forearm.

“I think the more you talk the more I like you, so...you’re still cool.” Tate said.

Victor huffed, almost incredulous. Tate pressed the eyeliner back into his hand.

Victor leaned in once more and pressed a kiss to the side of Tate’s mouth before waving a goodbye and running out of the alley.

Tate stared down at the number, committed it to memory. Before he raced to his dorm and waited by the phone for Victor to call, and picked up the moment it rung, happy to hear his deep voice on the other end.

Chapter Text

Victor stared blankly at the wall in front of him in the guest room. He tapped his foot lightly as he sat on the bed.

It was once Addie’s room, it was hard to think of it otherwise but now it was completely different, the guest bed was wide and frilly, inventing and soft, so different from the conditions Constance forced upon Addie.

As he sat he was cold, shivering and teeth chattering. The only thing to keep him warm was a towel wrapped around his waist, but that was more for decency reasons than it was effective at trapping in warm air.

Tate returned with a pair of jeans and a sweater folded in his arms. His smile was soft and wide, he smoothed back Victor’s damp black hair with a hand towel before tussling it.

“Constance left a bunch of my clothes here for me, I found your favorite sweater.” Tate said sitting next to him, quickly pressing a kiss to his cheek. “You look like a wet mouse.”

“Mice are cute!” Victor protested.

“I know, and so are you.” Tate said holding his face.

Tate was right though, his small frame shook as he shivered and curled in on himself, hair sticking up in every which way after being ruffled by a towel.

Victor picked up the sweater and held it against his face, it smelled like him, soft against his skin. He pulled it over himself, wincing as it slid over his skin, scrubbed raw to get all those years of dried crusted blood on him. The layers of blood only revealed old scars, reminding him of the new ones he would’ve had from all the bullshit he did to himself.

Tate pushed the hair away from Victor’s face. His warm fingers brushed over the sharp features of his face.

“It still smells like you.” Victor muttered. “I’m...that’s weird.”

“Maybe.” Tate said brushing his fingers over Victor’s jawline.

Victor fiddled with the edge of his sweater, legs still cold despite the towel loosely hanging over his spindly legs.

“It means a lot, you taking care of me.” He said, eyes locked on the floor. “I know I was difficult to handle in the shower, but I’m glad you helped. I couldn’t keep running around with all that blood.”

“It’s okay. You were brave to go through all that, it was hard on you.” Tate said, Victor could feel his gaze.

Victor closed his eyes. He could see it, the shower water almost a muddy brown from the years and years of dried blood, he could almost smell it again, that awful rusted smell. He took in a ragged breath as Tate trailed one finger at a time down Victor’s wrist, eventually taking Victor’s hand in his. Victor opened his eyes to look down at their hands.

“You seem...distant, are you sure you’re okay?” Tate asked.

Victor opened his mouth to reply but the words died out, washing down the drain like all that blood. He turned and grabbed onto Tate, holding him close against his chest. Tate didn’t complain, simply rested there.

“I don’t know, seeing all that blood made me think about all the stuff that I did to myself.” Victor whispered “it’s so hard being back up here, sunlight hurts, so did the water, talking does too.”

Tate pulled back to stared at him, his black eyes blinking up at him. Victor could tell it was hard for him too. It’d been so long then to have each other thrust back into their lives, somehow seamless and still extremely choppy.

“There’s no limits to what can heal here, you know that? I’ve felt my heart in my hands, I’ve used my own dulled fingernails to rip my skin open and held my intestines. Do you know what intestines feel like, Tate? They’re soft, disgustingly so.” He muttered, he clutched Tate closer.

Tate reached under Victor’s sweater, pressing a hand and rubbing over his stomach, he felt the heat from the raw skin.

“I can’t imagine.” Tate said.

“You can’t.” Victor snapped. “I was alone, I was scared, I had nothing and no one.”

Fuck, damnit, fuck. He shouldn’t have snapped like that, especially not at Tate.

Tate blinked at him again, eyes glassy with tears. Victor quickly leaned down and kissed his forehead.

“I’m sorry.” Victor said, “I’m still getting used to…dealing with people again. It won’t happen again I promise.”

“Yeah,” he chuckled “yeah, you went cold turkey and it’s hard to just jump back in. People are the worst.”

“One of the pillars of our friendship was our mutual misanthropic tendencies so I can’t say I was an A+ socializer to begin with.” Victor said flinging himself back onto the bed.

He shuffled upwards and spread himself out, hands grabbing and releasing the soft fabric of the comforter. Tate crawled up next to him before resting his head on Victor’s chest.

“You’re a hell of a chat when you’re drunk.” Tate said.

“That’s the only time I compliment you, jackass, that’s why you like when I’m drunk.” Victor said lamely kicking at Tate’s legs.

“Maybe.” He said.

They grew silent. Victor became aware of the fact that he still wasn’t wearing pants due to the goosebumps rising up over his legs.

Victor wanted to move for the jeans Tate brought to him but instead he found himself paralyzed in fear, as if he moved Tate would be gone, he’d be in the basement, that this was all a dream.

“It’s, it’s just so hard to think about. It feels like you’re going to be sucked up by the darkness. I think it’s like hypothermia, the loneliness, like, it starts slowly, you don’t even notice it but then when you’re in so deep you try to scream but you’re too far in that all you can do is just just slip deeper, fall asleep and die.” Victor said, staring up at the ceiling.

Victor sat up, bringing Tate with him. He held Tate’s face.

“If I could choose to go crazy like the rest of these poor bastards I would.” Victor said. “Would you still love me?”

“I think you’re well past sane.” Tate said before pressing a kiss to his jaw. “And of course I would, no matter what I would”

Victor leaned back and laughed. Yeah, like that little psycho was gonna preach to him. In his heart Victor knew Tate meant it, that he’d love him no matter what.

“Pot calling the kettle black, sweetheart.” He said pressing a finger to Tate’s forehead. “Your little blonde melon is twisted up. Glass houses, Princess, glass houses.”

It was easier to laugh and make jokes then realizes the weight of the situation. The fact that they were pretending like nothing had happened, that they just had a bad fight and that’s all.

Tate laughed, grabbing gently at Victor’s jaw to hold him steady.

“Princess this, princess that. Since when have I been a princess?” Tate teased bobbing his head back and forth.

“Because you’re a spoiled little brat. Having separate clothes to change into as a ghost? That’s the rich kid life, Langdon. Suffer in your own bloody clothes like the rest of us.” Victor said pushing his face away.

Tate laughed, they both laughed actually, easy and over something fucking dumb like they used to.

“Yeah, sure, I’ll take your advice when you have pants on.” Tate said reaching over the bed and throwing the pair of jeans a boxers at him.

“Awe, you got me new underwear like you always promised.” Victor said in faux sweetness, batting his eyes.

“Yeah, I think you’ve only had one pair since freshman year.” Tate said laying back down on the bed.

Victor stood up and turned away to put his pants on, he could still feel Tate’s eyes on him, it wasn’t like they hadn’t seen each other naked before, obviously but this felt different.

After buttoning his pants laid next to Tate, pulling him onto his chest and running his fingers through his hair.

“I love you.” Victor said.

“I love you too.” He said.

Chapter Text

Damien knew he wasn’t like the other kids. Not in any cool way like the kids in the movies, or in any talented ways. He was different from the fact of his home life, from the average kids he heard about, with a mom and a dad, maybe an older sister who would bitch about not having some guy ask her out.

Damien didn’t see much of his dad, he worked all the time. He loved his dad, his dad loved him, and that’s why he had two, sometimes three jobs depending. One of those jobs did not include taking care of Damien and the house, that job belonged to his older brother.

From what he heard from his very limited friends their older brothers if they were Vic’s age they didn’t want anything to do with them, only coming around to give them a shove or yell at them for using their stuff, preoccupied with girls and that dumb shit.

Vic was different than that, he cared about Damien. Sure, Vic would get annoyed by him, pick him up and throw him on the couch like Vic was Hulk Hogan and Damien was Macho Man Randy Savage whenever Damien would bug the shit outta him or when he’d steal his lighter. The only time he had anything to show for it beyond a bruise on the arm or something was when he discovered what clippers were and he shaved half of Vic’s head for freshman year picture day.

Damien couldn’t blame him though, and after he cried in his room for a bit he came out to the kitchen only for the smell of a fried baloney sandwich with “I’m sorry.” scrawled across it.

Vic was nice most of the time though, he took care of him, helped him with homework when he needed it.

His friends joked and called Vic his mom but Vic was a million times better than a mom. Moms nagged at you to go to bed on time, made you do the dishes, didn’t take you to see awesome movies, didn’t teach you how to swear properly.

Then again mom’s probably didn’t have a revolving door of hook ups, but if that was the price to pay Damien was more than happy with the exchange rate.

Damien knew Vic didn’t like him seeing his various hook ups stumble out the door in the middle of the or knowing about them in general, but it was unavoidable with the sheer number that came through over the years. They generally paid Damien no mind if he was just getting a glass of water or a snack from the fridge, one dude actually paused and said hi but Damien did not care for that bullshit at all.

Moms also taught you to be nice to everyone, Vic taught him how to say fuck off if a kid was staring at him. Sure his manners were intact, but Vic wouldn’t ground him if he got a call that he called one of his classmates a little bitch, he was in fourth grade after all, that kid needed to grow up.

But above all else, Vic cared for him when he was hurt, scared and sad. Once, when they were both playing in the lawn, way before Damien could remember, apparently he fell off the shitty playground equipment and Vic caught him from busting his head, Vic didn’t come out unscathed though, he ended up breaking his nose from one of the wood planks on his face.

He didn’t make fun of him when he had nightmares either. On the nights that their dad worked, which seemed like every night, and the nights Vic didn’t have someone over, Vic would sleep in their dad’s bed. On a night like that one, Vic was there, just down the hall from Damien as he came padding out from his room, cheeks puffy and stained with tears, muttering to himself incoherently.

Carefully he knocked on the door, pushing it open just enough just to stick his head in. Vic picked his head up, looking at him with a sleep filled daze in his eyes.

“Whadda want, shithead…? Oh! Oh, oh no, you’ve been crying haven’t ya?” Victor said sitting up, he leaned over and flicked on the bedside lamp.

Damien nodded in reply.

“Jesus, buddy I’m sorry I cursed at you. C’mere.” He said waving Damien over.

Victor pulled back his layers and layers of blankets in preparation as Damien quickly scurried to Victor, almost jumping in bed next to him. Almost immediately after he landed Victor pulled the covers over him, leaving him safe and warm, only Damien’s eyes up peeked over the blanket.

“Did you have another nightmare?” Victor asked, looking down at his brother, hiding as if the blankets would protect him.

“Yeah.” He muttered, hands fiddling with the lowest layer of blankets. “It was about you.”

“What was it this time?” Victor asked pushing some of Damien’s curls off of his forehead.

Damien paused. He didn’t want to think about it, but he knew it would better if he got it out, so it wasn’t festering inside.

“You were…bloody, fucked up, like extremely fucked up, and I was holding you. You were either dead or going to be dead and I-I-“ Damien stopped to let out a sob, hands covering his mouth.

Victor pushed the rest of the blankets off his face, just putting a hand to his cheek.

“You were so lifeless it was like that time I held dead squirrel and it, you were, your body was heavy and so limp and your face didn’t even look like you, you were so sad and I felt like I was going to die just, the idea with you gone, that you wouldn’t be here when I have nightmares anymore or that I wouldn’t hear your fucking crypt keeper laugh.” Damien cried shaking his head. “You were gone.”

Victor hugged him close.

“But I’m not anymore, only in your dream. I’m here, I’m not going anywhere, ever.” Victor said rubbing his back.

Damien sniffled and pulled back, wiping his eyes and nodding. He smiled up at his brother and his brother smiled back, a familiar and lopsided smile.

“You want some milk?” Victor said, head tilting to the side.

Damien nodded.

Victor quickly flopped his blankets off of him and onto Damien, but Damien hopped out of bed too.

“Can I come with?” Damien asked, eyes cast to the ground.

Timidly he looked up to his brother, who had a small smile and his head cocked to the side.

“Yeah, of course.” He said sticking his hand out.

Damien grabbed on and followed him the small distance to the kitchen, letting Victor turn on the lights before he settled at the kitchen table, watching as he poured Damien a glass and then himself one too.

He placed their glasses on the table in front of Damien, sitting next to him. Victor drank his gingerly and watched as Damien just stared at his glass.

Victor nudged his glass closer to him.

“Chug up, buttercup.” Victor said before going back to his glass.

Damien gladly took the challenge and began to chug his milk down.

“Hey! Wait! Stop! I didn’t mean it literally, dumbass! You’re gonna get sick!” Victor said reaching for the glass but it was too late.

Damien shuffled backwards, already taking the challenge. Victor sighed and put his hands up in defeat.

“Idiot.” He said rolling his eyes. Damien responded in kind with his middle finger before putting his glass down.

Victor sighed again, more over dramatic and for show than actual annoyance. Victor picked up their glasses and put them in the sink.

“If you throw up I’m not cleaning it up.” Victor said shaking his head.

Damien just stuck his tongue out, sliding out of his chair and then next to Victor as he waited by the light switch.

Victor bent down and picked Damien up with ease, flicking the lights off as he went before he laid Damien back in their father’s bed before he crawled next to him, pulling up the blankets first then turning off the lights.

Damien fell asleep with ease, knowing his big brother was there, always and would never leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damien woke with a jolt, his eyes wide. He panted and sputtered, his cheeks littered with tears. He’d been crying in his sleep again. He looked over, his wife’s big brown eyes staring down at him.

“You were having a bad dream, it’s okay.” She comforted, her voice like silk. Her dark brown hand pressed against his cheeks, wiping away his tears.

“Nes, you’ve got no idea.” He said shaking his head.

“You dreamt about your brother.” Nessie whispered.

She knew, she always knew what was up with him. Everything, from what he wanted for dinner to what he was feeling. God, he loved her so much.

“I dreamt about him...in pain, bloody, like I used to.” Damien said, pressing his palms to his eyes.

Nessie just rubbed his face, nodding along. There were no rational words of “it was just a dream” or “he’s okay.” Because he wasn’t.

Damien let himself cry for Victor. Something he hadn’t done in years, something he’d buried so deep and all of a sudden he was a little kid again. Vic never saw him graduate anything, middle school, high school, college. Didn’t see him get married, wasn’t there to hear that Nessie was currently pregnant with twins.

“I… know I never say anything about him but, I miss him. I think about what he would’ve been like. I know he would have loved you, and I can’t stop thinking about how my favorite person in the whole world isn’t gonna meet our daughters.” Damien cried.

He looked to his wife, who looked on in sadness, tearful now too for him.

“I wish I could say I understand, but I am here. I’m here, you’ve got a couple hours before class if you want to stay up or just skip?” She asked.

Damien shook his head.

“No, I’m alright. I can sleep, I can sleep.” He said laying his head back down.

Nessie looked over him and pulled closer to him, that pit in her stomach relaxing, he was going to be okay.

Chapter Text

Victor stared down his pile of treasure with hands clenched into fists at his side.

He chuckled at the idea of it being treasure, if a pencil skirt, fishnet stockings and a blouse could count as treasure.

He had to steal each delicately, he felt bad stealing from the thrift store but it was easy to slip the once expensive and highly regarded garments into his coat. He stole the fishnets from the drug store though, he wasn’t that desperate to steal second hand stockings.

It was just that he wanted to know, to understand why the girls wore them, why the guys went crazy for it. He knew Tate loved when the girls wore them, secretly, something he’d never let anyone besides Victor know, that he even passed glances to those type of girls.

He didn’t know why he felt more comfortable wearing those to the the club. Victor had always looked somewhat feminine, with the makeup and clothes to sell it, no one really looked twice.

With a deep breath and shaky hands he removed a box from deep in his closet, tucked away, hidden behind drugs and various other incriminating material. He placed the box on his mattress, carefully flicking the clasps open, and revealing the content of the box.

Inside the box held makeup, cheap, shitty makeup. He held each product with delicate care, tracing over the stolen products, filled with love.

He shuffled over to the mirror, box in hand, pulling out the foundation first.

He dabbed it on the back of his hand, taking a medium sized, soft brush and dipped it into it.

It was good, the foundation was expensive. That was the number one rule, good foundation made good makeup, it was foundation for a reason. That was the only expensive thing in the box, or in his life.

Most of money he made from this went to keeping the house afloat and Damien. Nothing compared to his face when they could get a cone from DQ on fridays.

The girls in the beginning would help him out with makeup, especially with foundation but he was far too pale compared to everyone else, so he eventually had to steal his own.

With reverence he applied the foundation to his face, careful for it not to streak and cake.

He sighed at the feeling of it on his skin, it was heavy like a mask, but it got rid of his dark circles, evened out his pale and lifeless skin, but it didn’t bring color, that was what blush was for. Maybe it was a mask, for a more perfect and beautiful version of himself.

Speaking of blush, he dabbed his fluffy brush into the obnoxiously pink pressed powder, before brushing over the high points of his sharp cheeks, making him seem full of life again. That he wasn’t drawn out by years of stress and any drug he could get his hands on.

He examined himself in the mirror for a second, how subtle and how different it was, how healthy he looked.

Before he could get lost in thought and self pity he grabbed the small and shitty eyeshadow palette he stole from CVS and a few brushes along with it.

He smeared the light purple eyeshadow all over his eyes, as the colors got darker he used less of them, careful not to over do it.

He had seen the girls do it at their lockers enough times to learn.

Then was eyeliner, the hardest part, but the most rewarding, even if it meant stabbing himself in the eye a million times.

He sat back after he was done with his eyeliner, admiring how his eyes looked wide, pretty and innocent. He quickly swiped mascara over his already thick eyelashes to make them impossibly long and pretty.

He put his eye makeup back into the small box and grabbed the last step, a tube of bright red lipstick. He uncapped it, twisting the stick up before pressing it gently against his lips, careful not to smear or go outside the lines.

Victor admired himself in the mirror, how pretty and delicate he looks, how rare it was for him to feel that was. He touched his colorful cheek, so full of life.

Quickly he put away his makeup back in its box, shoving it back into his closet. He sighed, looking down at his ripped up clothes, tattered and ugly. Without fanfare he changed his clothes, before admiring how he looked in the mirror.

His legs looked wonderful, the fishnets cradled them, he even shaved them to look nice. The skirt barely reached halfway to his thighs, he knew he was a whore, there was no denying it.

He didn’t have any nice walking shoes though, he guessed that would be the next thing he’d steal. His platform he left at work, those would be a bitch and a half to hide.

He looked himself over in the mirror once more, smoothing his skirt down with his hands.

His dad was working late, like always, and Damien was asleep.

Victor took extra care to leave the house quietly, rushing to the bus stop. He only had to get himself over there, the buses didn’t run late enough for when he got home. Ruby always took him home, she seemed to like him the most.

He tried to time it where he didn’t have to wait for the bus too long, avoiding eye contact with any passerbiers but really, no one cared.

With a sigh he climbed onto the back of the bus, thinking about his set for tonight.

Getting the job was surprisingly easy. He brought in a different crowd, they said. The crowd wasn’t too different apparently, but Victor was greatly appreciated if the tips were anything to go by.

The crowd were men who just enjoyed anything that danced and looked pretty, but Victor did get a few older, married and settled down types, pretending that Victor was feminine enough to excuse their hard on and that they definitely weren’t popping a boner over a male pole dancer.

Victor didn’t mind them too much, they always were too nervous to even think about getting handsy, they tipped well and that was that.

Who Victor really hated were the business types. The ones who treated him like another thing for their consumption, like he was made to serve them, bend to their will and let them fuck him like some whore.

Victor would never let them fuck him.

Never.

Touching already felt violating but the idea of sleeping with a customer made him sick.

“You’ll get there eventually.” Honesty told him once.

Truthfully Victor hadn’t slept with anyone in a long time. Not since him and Tate started hanging out more.

Once after a particularly intense one night stand that left a shitton of hickeys, Tate wouldn’t talk to him for a week.

It wasn’t that Tate didn’t like Victor fucking guys, well, it wasn’t the guy part. It was the fucking part.

Tate had told him about how he hated to see Victor used like that, how it was ridiculous that someone like himself would waste time on useless people.

Victor wondered what Tate would think of this. He’d probably hate him for it, thinking he was like the desperate girls in the halls they always made fun of.

Maybe Victor would quit soon. It’d been long enough.

But Damien was just getting used to it, having a little breathing room, going to see movies, getting fast food occasionally. He couldn’t just pull the rug out from under the little guy like that.

He kept his head down as he left the bus, just a block away from the club.

Quietly, uneventfully, he made it to the neon lighted club. He sighed as he made his way to the back entrance, thinking about how his feet would hurt the next day at school, how he’d soon put on that cheap itchy lace outfit that made him look to pretty.

But this was for Damien. That’s what mattered.

For Damien, he’d do anything.

Chapter Text

Violet always liked the attic, her and Tate used to hang out there sometimes.

Beau wouldn’t come out today, despite her coaxing. So she was alone.

Again.

She missed Victor. Even in their few weeks together, she made a friend, he made everything a little better, just a little company, full of stories she couldn’t even imagine.

He told her everything about his life, even the sad things he managed to make funny, managed to make her feel okay.

She paced around the attic, her legs cramping from sitting around, she tripped on a floorboard.

“Fuck, stupid fuckin’ old house.” She said, drawing her knees to her chest, watching as the scrape healed over.

Her eyes drifted to the floorboard she tripped on, almost completely out of the floor.

She crawled on her hands and knees to look at it, how it seemed to be pried up before.

Underneath the floorboard was a small, black box.

She smiled, grabbing it up.

Listen, there wasn’t a lot of surprises in her day to day anymore, what was the worst this box gonna do, kill her?

It was a wooden box, about the size of a shoebox, with a little latch on the outside but no lock.

She flicked the latch open, then threw off the top, eager to see what was inside.

Maybe a dried up heart or some shit, at least that would be interesting, it’d be one of the more mundane things she’d seen in this place.

She sighed as she looked over the contents.

Definitely wasn’t a dried up heart.

It was black, lacy, lingerie.

Ew.

Why would anyone need to hide that?

Whoever it once belonged to was thin, she figured maybe even she couldn’t fit into it by the looks of it.

She grabbed her pencil from her sketchbook, picking up the two piece set with it and flung it across the room to see if there was anything else inside.

She was correct.

Inside were Polaroids and a tube of red lipstick.

Violet picked up the photos, looking them over.

There were six.

The first one was just legs with the black garters wrapped around them. Slender and long and pale. It could’ve been black and white. The photo was stark, with no warmth or feeling, just the facts of the photo. The emptiness and bluntness if the photos made Violet’s throat constrict.

The next photo was the whole body of the woman, her flushed out, her head ducked off the end of the bed, lean and lithe.

Her body was scarred all over, her chest flat and covered by the black bra. Her body was wrapped in the back lace, perfectly fit.

Whoever this was was beautiful, even she could see that. Frozen in time, small dots of flush over them.

Her stomach dropped for a moment, was this another murder? Would there be bloody and grotesque photos to follow of this delicate little frame destroyed and mangled. Who would have died like that? She met most of the ghosts.

She looked over the long and splayed body, taking note of the large bump in the panties.

Oh

She frantically looked to the next photo, a side profile of the person.

A strong, jutting jaw, a sharp little nose, deep set eyes and full dark eyebrows.

It was Vic.

Did… did that mean Tate took these?

But this person, well, Vic, looked so beautiful, and slender and small. Vic was tall, he loomed over Violet even when he hunched.

She went to the next photo. Vic was smiling, his lipstick red, eyelashes long and thick, a blush dotting his cheeks.

If Violet hadn’t known, if she hadn’t paid attention, she would’ve thought Vic was a girl. One of those really skinny 90’s supermodels, like he could faint at any moment.

His green eyes dazzled as he smiled, looking up at Tate with love and adoration, his lips curled as he smiled wide. Real love, caught on camera.

She pulled the next photo up. It was Vic sitting on the edge of what was presumably Tate’s bed, reaching for the camera. Vic’s smile was lopsided, his lipstick smeared, his neck covered in marks, this was definitely an after photo. His face was slightly fuller, pinker, his whole chest had a flush spread down it.

Her hands shook as she hesitantly picked up the last photo. Vic looked so happy here, in this frozen moment, her heart swelled too, she felt the giddiness he did.

The last photo was completely different from everything else.

It was a photo of Tate.

He was sitting on his bed, arms folded, looking at the camera from the corner of his eye. His lips were pursed in the way they always were when he tried not to smile.

His cheek was stained with a bright red kiss mark.

Violet sat back, holding all the photos to her chest.

She sighed, her eyes wandering back to the box. At the very bottom of the box was a piece of paper.

She quickly snatched it up and poured over the page.

Happy birthday, baby. To many, many, many more with you. Forever yours, Tate.

Did they ever tell each other they loved each other?

It was written across their faces in every photo. It was stupid, happy, high school love. It lacked the urgency and weigh her and Tate’s did.

She found herself wishing she had theirs.

She carefully placed the note back in the box, then the photos, then the lingerie.

She closed the box and stood up. She slid the floorboard back in place before making her way down the attic.

“Vic?!” She called, making her way down the hallway. She knew he was probably in the basement, but it was worth a shot.

“Vic?! I wanna talk! I’m sorry!” She yelled again.

She sighed as she passed the guest room.

Then she froze.

There was Vic alright, wrapped in Tate’s arms, both resting peacefully on the bed.

How could he just go back again so easily?! What the fuck?!

She dropped the box, startling them both awake.