Disclaimer: I do not own AHS
A/N: I have not updated this fic in a million yearsssss! But I finally gathered my ideas for it and worked my way through a new chapter. Enjoy!
CH 10- Fallen Angels
LOS ANGELES, 1996
It had happened so quickly. The car had sped by without warning, catching the girls who played in front of the house with a ball by utter surprise. Neither of them had seen it coming. Not even when the wheels screeched against the asphalt, too busy drowning in giggles.
"Murderer!" The woman screamed in their direction from the open window of her car when she brought the automobile to a stop.
James had frozen, the ball in her hands. She stared at the devastated woman with wide eyes, not sure how to respond. Addie panicked and ran in the house calling for Constance. Unable to move, James stayed out in the front yard, letting the woman shout cruel words at her.
"Your brother is a murderer!" The car's engine roared to life and the woman sped down the street, leaving James completely dumbstruck and voiceless.
When she remembered how to move, she turned around to see Constance standing on the porch of their new home. Addie latched to her, eyes filled with angry tears. James turned her body fully; facing her mother who looked at her with shimmering, tear filled eyes. However, the almost seven-year-old, stood confused, unable to process what had just happened.
Constance watched her youngest child's expression change from confusion to anger as her perfectly shaped brows pulled together into a frown and her eyes watered with enraged tears. Her fingers dug into the red ball and began to shake. The confusion had left her and she had fully understood.
"James Langdon." Constance spoke, her voice firm and cold, "Come here."
James did as she was told and walked to the bottom of the porch. Constance let go of Addie and stepped down the porch, kneeling to be at her young child's level. "You don't listen to a word people say. Your brother was an angel."
James studied her mother's expression without uttering a single word. Her young body was filled with so much anger, unable to understand what had happened with Tate. Why he had been locked in the house with the other ghosts, why people called him a murderer and a monster. Why their lives had been turned upside down. Why Larry had left them.
James dropped the ball and threw her arms around Constance's neck, crying and shaking.
"There, there, my precious angel." Constance held her, "There's no reason to cry."
"Was Tate a monster?" She asked in a whisper.
"Goodness, no." Constance pulled away with a smile, "Your brother was an angel sent from heaven, just like you." She brushed her nose, making her smile. "My precious angel, there's no point in listening to strangers. You should know better."
That night James tossed and turned in her bedroom. She rolled on to her back, staring up at the ceiling. "Tate?" She called out, forgetting that he no longer lived with them. "Tate?" She sat up, remembering what had happened.
James made her way out of the front door of the house and down the porch steps, barefoot and in her pajamas. She walked down the walkway, enduring the chilly Los Angeles night, and made her way to the ominous Victorian home, under the dim lights of the street lamps. The house had been abandoned since the incident. Larry had never returned to claim it.
James walked up the porch, holding her stuffed rabbit to her chest. She raised her hand and knocked on the door. After a short moment, the door creaked open, welcoming James into its darkness.
James relaxed at the sight of the darkness with in and smiled when her eyes landed on someone inside. She took a step forward and stepped inside; the door closed behind her shut.
James walked up the street of her Los Angeles neighborhood, walking one of the dogs her mother boarded. Constance had begun her own dog-boarding business over the past year to keep herself busy. James on the other hand, had seen the dogs as her own way to keep herself out of the house. Constance had forbid her from wandering into their old home to visit the ghosts but James couldn't stay away. She loved talking with Moira and reading books with Tate. She adored listening to Nora talk about her days of lavish and popularity in the olden days and playing with Beau down in the basement.
However, the house had its own dangers. The Infantata was one of them, constantly stalking for James, ready to pounce at the right moment. However, Tate was always there to warn it off.
James stopped when she reached the front of the Victorian home and looked up at the front window where a dark figure stood. James smiled at it and waved. The shadow waved back.
Tate smiled as he watched his little sister wave and continue her walk.
"She's a smart girl, James." Moira's voice came from behind Tate. He turned around to see the old, tired woman walk into the room with a feather duster, "Such a sweet little thing." She glanced out the window, catching James and the dog walking up the driveway to her house. "It would almost be a shame if she knew the truth." She gave out a soft sigh.
Tate scoffed. "She won't find out. My whore of a mother's too proud to admit it."
Moira huffed. "If only our mothers could protect us from all the evil in the world." She turned from the window and filed out of the room with her feather duster, leaving Tate pensive.
Her words continued to haunt him through out the day.
Tate thought a lot about his sister, James. Concerned filled him the older she became. When she talked, she said a lot of things that sounded like the came from Constance's own mouth. Tate worried. And he worried plenty.
Even though Addie was much older than James, she was far more innocent and went about her day, unbothered by Constance's way of life. James on the other hand was maturing much faster than their older sister and Tate worried that she would grow into their mother.
Once the door was closed, James took the leash off the dog and returned him to his kennel. She could hear Constance fussing in the kitchen and attempted to sneak past her to retreat to her room upstairs. Addie was in the living room watching cartoons; eyes glued to the screen.
When James placed her foot on the very first step of the staircase, it made a creak. She winced for what was to come next.
"James, darling? Is that you?"
Addie looked to James and James to Addie. James quickly shook her head pleading to Addie to help her.
"Yes, Mom, it's her." Addie ratted her out.
James glared at her older sister. Addie was still upset over a petty little argument they had the night before on what show they were to watch before bed.
Constance came out of the kitchen and her face lit up like a million stars when she saw James standing by the stair case.
"Why, my little cherub. Why didn't you tell me you were back so soon?" She went up to James and placed her hands upon the girl's porcelain cheeks. "Hmm?"
"Sorry, Mama." James mumbled, avoiding Constance's eyes, "I forgot."
"I hope you were a good girl and kept away from that house."
"Yes." James answered.
"Good girl." Constance kissed the top of her head, "Now sit with your sister and watch cartoons." She led James to the living room to join Addie.
"But Mama, I don't like Maisy Mouse!" She complained while Constance plopped her down on the sofa.
"You will watch it and you will like it." Constance said a little sternly. Truth be told, she just wanted the child to stay put and stay away from the house and her brother. "It's for the best, Love. You'll see."
One evening, James snuck into the house to spend time with Tate. She mostly talked about school and her friends. Things that only interested a nine-year-old. She also talked a lot about Constance.
"Mama says they won't sell the house soon." She chimed on while she and Tate played Candyland on the floor of the living room.
Tate eyed her. "Do you want them to sell the house?"
"No." She answered, picking up a card and moving her piece, "Because then other people will live here and I won't be able to come over."
"You like visiting, don't you?"
James smiled at her brother. "You and Beau are here. Home isn't fun. Addie never wants to play with me and Mama is always busy with the dogs."
"Does it bother you?"
James shook her head. "No. That means she won't bug me."
Tate laughed, "Mama bugs you?"
James only shrugged. "She won't let me do nothin' fun." She let Tate take a turn and then picked another card. She groaned at the gum drop on the card and moved her piece back a few paces.
A thought crossed Tate's mind and he kept his eyes on his little sister, letting that thought brew into something morbid. "Would you like to stay here with me and Beau?"
James met his eyes with a bit of skepticism at first but then slowly nodded.
"Then you should stay." Tate responded.
"But I have to go home. You know Mama doesn't like it when I'm here…" Her voice turned soft, almost a whisper. There were a lot of things that Constance didn't like James doing.
Tate's cold, dark eyes remained on her. "What if you didn't have to leave? What if Mama couldn't make you?"
James became nervous. She noted the dark look in her brother's eyes and noticed they were alone. Moira had ventured off and there was no sign of Nora. A strange feeling fell to the pit of her stomach and she became nervous. Tate often had a darkness about him that scared her. He didn't show it often but she knew it was there.
"Jamesy, you know you can stay here with me. You know that, right?" Tate didn't know why the words were coming out of his mouth. Perhaps it was the loneliness he felt or the desperation to save his sister's soul from their mother. He couldn't do much for Addie but he could still save James. He truly believed it in his sick and twisted mind that what he could offer her was for the better.
"But then I'll have to die…" Her soft voice trembled.
James was old enough to know how things worked in the Murder House. She knew that whoever died there remained for the rest of eternity.
Her eyes remained on her brother. "I don't want to die."
James left the house early that day and ran home. She didn't even bother looking over her shoulder to give the ghosts a wave goodbye. She raced straight home without looking back.
Tate once again watched her go from the window of the house, feeling like she was slipping from salvation. One way or another, he had to save her.