See the end of the chapter for the Author's Note.
Tate isn't a ghost in this. There are no ghosts present in this story, though the original Hauntings of Murder House are present.
The story takes place in 2011.
Tate is still a teenager and so is Kat.
Violet is not present in this story.
WARNINGS: Violent, disturbing themes may be present. Do not read if you are easily squeamish. Some sexual, sadistic, and masochistic themes discussed and written about. Mentions of suicide and cutting. Do not read if you are triggered by such themes. Anything the characters attempt here, say, or do is not something that should be attempted or tried in real life. This story is fictional and all names of people, places and things are purely coincidental if applied to real life.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the characters of American Horror Story. Kat and her family are OCs, but the rest are from the AHS Murder House season.
TAGS: Slightly OOC, OCs present, AU.
The knife held in her hand, she stabbed it downwards. Bright red juice flew up into the air, covering her hands and the hands of her stepbrother, Jason. He froze for a moment, his knife raised up as he closed his eyes, forehead wrinkling. She watched as he silently counted to ten. Amused,, she placed one sticky finger into her mouth, savoring the sweet, slightly tart juice.
"Kat." Jason said, his voice deceptively calm despite his red face. From the heat or from trying to restrain himself around her for the past two hours, she couldn't tell. "Can you try to make less of a mess next time?"
"Sorry," she said, loudly slurping at her fingers. Not sorry at all. Jason was the type of asshole she couldn't even pretend to have any sympathy for, no matter how hard she tried. Just like her new stepfather, he had the annoying habit of existing around her and deciding to interact with her. No matter how many subtle and then less subtle hints she'd given. "Want a napkin?"
"No. In fact, I think it's best if you left now. I'll cut up the rest."
His glare spoke more clearly than his words did. Kat raised her hands in surrender, moving away from the counter. She set the knife down in the sink, underneath the sudsy water that had barely finished draining since their mother had washed the dishes. Outside, in the hallway, she pulled out her journal. Resting it against the wall, she scanned through it quickly.
Shutting the journal, she slipped it underneath her arm as her mother appeared down the stairs. She smiled, though her mother did the opposite.
"You finished the watermelon already?"
"Jason says he'll take care of it already." She suppressed a smirk as she realized that the red mark on the side of her mother's neck was not, in fact, a rash but a hickey. Unmistakably the only one to be able to give it to her would be her new stepfather, who appeared over her mother's shoulder a moment later. Forcing an even brighter smile for him (after all, he was the one with all the friends and influence in this god damned wretched place). "Hi, Dad."
"Please, call me Kat," she said, inwardly cringing at the name. Her mother didn't even have the decency to look a little embarrassed; after all, it was she who had named her Katana. To be young and stupid and so in love. But she understood now. Her mother had only loved what her father did, his work, all his characters. His creations. After all, she had been their last-child, named Katana as a sort of peace offering. Katana was the name of one of her father's characters, a female warrior from Ancient Japan. She'd never bothered to point out that the time period was all wrong, and besides, the name was highly inappropriate.
Her lip curled slightly, but the couple didn't notice as they stared at each other with sickeningly loving expressions. Her hold on her journal tightened. She might add something later. For now, she had somewhere to be.
"I'm going out now. I have a project to complete. I'll be back before dinner, don't worry. You have my number."
"Be home before five," her mother mumbled, as her stepfather (who the fuck even was 'dad?') leaned down to nibble on her ear. Giving a breathy moan, she added, "Stay safe."
Her stepfather planted what was supposed to be a chaste kiss on her mother's forehead but somehow ended with their tongues down each other's throats. God, were they already vying for round two?
"Don't take the car," her stepfather came up for air long enough to remind her.
"Fucking right I won't."
"I said I won't and have a good day."
There was something wrong with the Murder House, as it had so affectionately been dubbed. Something seriously fucked with it, from it's tall looming shape to the way the windows were never quite fully opened. She'd read up on it before she'd come here. All the murders that had taken place here, she'd read in anticipation. Her mother had made a disgusted expression, said it was all very macabre, asked her new stepfather "are you sure?" but he'd only been able to care about the amount of money they'd save on the property because all the houses near the Murder House were more or less half the price of houses in the next neighborhood.
Still. In a way, it reminded her of herself. A stranger amongst all the others. Though it did look fine from the outside, the inside was a dark, rotten and disgusting place to be. On her first day here, when they'd all been busy unpacking, she'd slipped away for half an hour, picked the lock, and gone upstairs. It was the strangest feeling inside the house. The wind was whispering to her. The day they'd moved, she'd noted it down, had been sunny, calm, no wind, and very humid, but inside the house, it was cold and damp. She'd had to slip out the backdoor when she heard the front door rattle and the rustle of shopping bags, a loud voice telling someone to go run the bath. She hadn't expected someone to actually occupy the house but it did make sense. If the houses around it were half the price of what they should be, she could only imagine what a steal the actual Murder House could be. She was sure that if it wasn't already occupied, her stepfather would have made a bid for it.
Kat easily picked the fence to the rusting gate. The house appeared empty right now, but even if it wasn't, she had her excuses ready. I'm new to the neighborhood, I'm so sorry, I thought this was mine. It didn't look like she'd need it, because no one came out the front door to ask why she was here. The gate swung open without much trouble; she'd greased the hinges on her last visit, and now, there was barely any creak to it. On the front porch, she found a couple of eggshells and pieces of broken pumpkin. Probably the neighbor's kids. They looked like the type of juvenile delinquents to relish in stuff like that. She picked one of the pumpkin pieces up, turning it over in her palm before she put it back down again.
The front door, surprisingly, was unlocked. She frowned, pushing it open. Even if the neighbor's kids had gotten here before she had, and she had somehow missed them, it wouldn't make sense why they'd have gone in. What was so interesting to them inside? Clearly it was some kind of show of vandalism, but to go inside would have taken it a step further. Were they skilled enough to pick locks? The inhabitants of the house wouldn't leave the door open, not unless they were very trusting and she somehow had the feeling that they weren't. Maybe they'd gone inside with the same purpose as her.
"You're gonna die in there," a high pitched, girlish voice said behind her.
She jumped, spinning around. Her heart was beating fast and hard in her chest and she'd nearly dropped her journal. A girl, somewhat around her age was smiling at her, though it didn't fit with her malevolent words.
"Bad things happened in the house," the girl said. "You're gonna die if you go inside."
Now that Kat was starting to calm down, she felt slightly annoyed. She forced herself to smile, though, her features morphing into hopefully what looked like a pleasant smile. Harmless. Not like she'd just seriously contemplated stabbing someone half an hour before. She wasn't annoyed with the girl (in fact, she preferred it very much to the police, or god forbid, the nosy neighbors who needed excitement like this to spice up their vanilla bean lives) but at the same time, the girl wasn't dumb. She'd ask questions and if it came down to it, someone would ask her questions and then people would start looking at Kat. Barely two days here and she'd be labeled the snoopy, neighborhood girl from the East Coast.
"What's your name?"
"Addy," the girl responded simply. So far so good. Addy wasn't asking why Kat was here in the first place, which allowed her to breathe just a little bit easier.
"My name's Kat. It's a nice house. Why am I going to die there?"
"It's dark in there. Tate says it makes everything a thousand times worse. He says that the voices will tell you to do mean things. He's a little bit crazy sometimes."
"Oh? Have you gotten help for him? It sounds like he might have a mental illness," She said, trying to sound sympathetic. In a way, she sympathized. She was also mentally ill, except her illness couldn't be cured, nor managed, with medication. She'd experimented with it, self-medicating herself with what she called pain therapy. She'd tried everything-burning herself, cutting her wrists, smashing her head into the wall and giving herself a concussion. Nothing had worked. She still felt the same. Slightly numb. Slightly detached. Painkillers made it even worse, making her drowsy and ridiculously giddy. She'd babbled all kinds of good things about her new family, optimistic things about making it work and how it would be a fresh start and her mother had believed her. Believed her enough to move all of them halfway across the country to this place. Of course, none of it was true. She hated it here. If she could feel any kind of strong emotion, it would be hatred, and her hatred for this place had nearly almost overridden her curiosity to make her stay with her father until she'd learned where exactly she'd be moving.
"No. Mom doesn't believe me."
"Do you want to meet him?"
"Yeah. He likes meeting pretty girls." She had a strange way of saying it, a lilt in her voice. An accent of some sort? Kat wasn't sure. "Come on, he's in the backyard."
Realizing she had no choice, not if she didn't want Addy to snitch on her, she played along with the situation. Maybe if she established some sort of rapport with her, she could later get her to not say anything to anyone. Even if Tate asked her questions, it'd be easy to lie to him and say that she was just passing by and had simply mistaken the house for her own.
The backyard was meticulously clipped and kept green. In the afternoon sunlight, it was hard to squint more than a few feet in any direction, the glare from her glasses making it even worse. For a moment, she thought she saw someone clipping the tulips, an old woman with red hair whose eyes watched her as she walked. Kat blinked, and the woman was gone.
Towards the very edge of the backyard, she finally saw a figure sitting in the shade, his back to the sunlight.
"Tate!" Addy called. "I brought someone."
Tate turned. His eyes were a dark shade of black, even darker than hers, and for a moment, she swore she saw something familiar there. But it was gone as he stood, brushing his hands against his jeans as he stood up.
"Hi, I'm Tate. Nice to meet you. Did Addy bring you here?"
Kat nodded, noticing how he stood with his hands stiffly by his sides. He didn't offer his hand to shake. There was grass on his jeans and shirt, and though he was trying hard to smile, it didn't really meet his eyes.
"I'm Kat. Yeah, Addy brought me here. How do you guys know each other?"
"She's my sister."
Addy giggled, clapping her hands. "She's pretty, right, Tate?"
Tate smiled, looking momentarily amused. He reached out to ruffle Addy's hair, as she squealed, ducking out of reach. "So, you're new around here?"
"I just moved here. The house right next door."
"So we're neighbors."
Tate jerked his thumb back to gesture at the ominous shadow of the house looming in front of them. Kat showed no visible reaction, just nodded.
"I'm sure you've heard the rumors," he said, dark eyes staring at her in a way that made her feel slightly exposed. It was almost like he could see right through her. "The infamous Murder House."
"I've heard some things about it."
"Addy, why don't you go run through the sprinklers? They'll be coming on soon, won't they?"
Addy pouted. "But I want to talk with Kat."
"She'll still be here when you come back," he looked towards her. "Won't you?"
Addy ran off, skipping through the long grass, her hair catching the rays of the sun. Kat watched her go. Carefree. Playful. Relaxed. Not a moment later, the sprinklers came on, spraying out water.
"You said your name was Kat?"
"Short for what? Katherine? Kaitlyn?"
"Katana," she said.
"What a stupid name," he responded, bluntly. Not one to mince words.
"It's the name of a sword."
"Well, you're a girl, not a weapon."
She smirked. "Who names their child Tate? What's it short for, Tater Tot?"
The move was meant to antagonize him. Biting enough to make it sting for someone who she'd just met. It had worked back in the East Coast. It was how she pushed away from the few people foolish enough to try and get too close to her. Of course, she had friends. She had to keep up appearances. But the friends she had learned a long time ago that it was futile to try and get close to her.
Tate smiled, and this time, it was a little more genuine.
"It was nice meeting you Kat," he said, getting up and stretching. The hem of his white shirt rode up, revealing the pale skin underneath. "Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for my appointment with my psychiatrist."
"Did you finish your project?"
Kat looked up from her plate of Chinese takeout, the orange noodles and broccoli drowning in soy sauce and hot sauce. "Some of it," she answered, vaguely as she picked up a piece of broccoli and shoved it into her mouth. She took a sip of her soda, hoping that her mother would drop the subject.
Unfortunately for her, her mother had chosen now, of all times, to be concerned and motherly. "Well, maybe I could help you with it. After dinner."
"Oh no, it's all good. I'm nearly done with it anyway. I just have to put it all together. It's not really anything difficult."
"Does your project involve getting to know the neighbors, Kat? Especially that boy?" Jason's smile was knowing and patronizing. Fuck. He must have seen her then. She knew it had been a risk, staying as long as she had, but she'd genuinely enjoyed the pair's company. Addy was cheerful, though sometimes her choice of words could cause her to come across as dangerous. Tate was funny, in a darkly humorous way. He'd join them towards the end, spending much of the time shredding the grass. Kat noticed that he looked even more haunted after his visit with his psychiatrist. Older. Dark circles underneath his eyes with red rings, like he'd been crying. He'd kept up a cheerful facade for Addy but when she wasn't looking, the look would drop and he'd look...tortured. Conflicted, almost.
Kat smiled enigmatically, shrugged and bit into an eggroll.
"What's his name?"
"Tate," she responded, after a moment. If he was trying to unsettle her, or get her in trouble, it wasn't going to work. "His sister's name is Addy. They're both pretty nice."
"Maybe we should go and visit them some time," her mother suggested. She looked towards their "dad", but since they couldn't really fuck here, not with their innocent children present, and he couldn't reach out because Kat had decided to be an asshole and set their places the farthest apart she could, he didn't say anything. Just continued chewing his eggroll like a cow chewed its cud. She sighed. "We could bring them a nice pie or something. I'm sure they'll love that. Are they coming to the party tomorrow?"
"Did you give them an invitation, Jason?"
Jason's eyes bulged as he choked on a piece of kung pao chicken. It was funny. If he'd choked some more, and if their parents hadn't been around "Shit! I didn't."
"Jason," his father sighed. His father only really ever spoke to Jason to be disappointed with him or to criticize him because the watermelon squares weren't cut into perfect cubes or some stupid shit like that. And now that he was technically Kat's father, the disappointment had, so generously, been extended to her as well. "Don't use that sort of language around your sister."
Sister? We're not even friends. Kat raised her eyebrows but didn't say anything. If that was the biggest problem with Jason right now, both of their parents needed to seriously reevaluate their criteria of good children.
"Kat, will you go over tomorrow in the morning? Ask if they want to come to the party?"
"Because you're the one who decided to talk to them," Jason said, sneeringly. She wished she could bash his face into his plate. She was sure she could break his nose. "Besides, who's in love with Tate?"
Kat's face grew cold and she gave him a cool look as she took a long, noisy sip from her soda. Her mother looked pained; she'd been raised up on good table manners but strangely enough, ever since moving in with Jason and his father, they'd all disappeared. Her useless new father didn't contribute any further to the conversation. Somehow, she had the feeling that this was the most words he'd ever speak, at least while eating.
"I'll go over there. If they say no, it's not my problem. And don't make stupid assumptions, Jason," she said. She wrapped her fork around a bunch of noodles, wishing she was instead using it on a certain someone's throat, and they ate the rest of their dinner in silence.
This was a stupid idea, Kat thought as she rang the doorbell for the third time. She crossed her arms over her shoulders. Though the sunny California weather had seldom changed over the past week, she felt strangely cold. The tank top she was wearing had been an unfortunate choice of clothing. She'd planned on taking a walk in the park later, to get away from the first of the arguments that had started out between her mother and stepfather. Now that the blissful "fuck my brains out" period was over, more serious issues were discovered as both of them realized that they had very little in common except their high sex drive. Jason had already disappeared sometime in the early morning, leaving Kat to eat at a breakfast table of awkward silence. Her mother had almost immediately banished her outside, waving her away and telling her to be back by noon. If it was to spare her from the shouting arguments that would follow, Kat supposed she should be grateful enough to care.
Ringing the doorbell for the fourth and final time, she stepped off the porch. Her mother would surely understand that they hadn't been available, that she'd rung the doorbell four times. She was about to turn and leave, go to the park, somewhere nice and sunny and warm, when she heard the door open and a voice call out to her.
She paused, turning around. It was Tate. Dressed in a loose t-shirt and boxers, his hair messy in a way that worked for him, he leaned against the doorframe. If she had to make a guess, she'd say he'd just woken up.
"Hey. Sorry, did I wake you up?"
He brushed it aside with a flick of his hand. Kat walked back up the porch, pulling the invitation out of her front short pocket. "This is for you and your family. My family's having a housewarming party this evening and we're supposed to invite everybody."
He turned the card over in his hand, seeming to examine it. "Will you be there?" He asked finally.
Not expecting the question, she hesitated only for a moment. "Yes."
Slowly, Tate nodded. His dark eyes met hers, seeming to pin her down. She was reminded of the time she'd caught those moths. It had been a happier time, a time of control. A time when she'd been able to manage the symptoms. Her mother and her father, her real father, had passed out after sharing a bottle of wine together, and her sister, Sakura, and her had caught a bunch of moths in an old jar. After Sakura had gone to sleep on their shared futon, Kat had taken the jar of moths and killed them by shaking the jar until all that was left was their broken bodies. Then, she'd picked them out one by one and pinned them to a piece of corkboard. Wings spread, arranged by their size. Exposed for the world to see.
That was how she felt now, the way he looked at her.
"Me and Addy will come. What time is it?"
"Great," he said. He smiled at her. The dark circles around his eyes seemed to have lessened a little, and some of the tension left his face. "We'll be there."
Author's Note(s): Hey! This is my first story on this account. I'd like to keep my accounts separate only because some of the stories on here will be a little disturbing (more than usual) and I'd like to keep them separated.
For the psychopathy and sociopathy part, Tate is more of a sociopath, as seen in the series, because he does have a limited ability to love. According to this article- what-is-a-sociopath-380184
I've based both characters on it. Just a heads up because the definitions of a sociopath and psychopath are up to a lot of speculation and debate. Furthermore, Kat so far doesn't seem to have been diagnosed yet, but based on her behavior, she fits more of a psychopath bill. And since there is a range of symptoms for psychopaths, I'd say she's right now in the mild to moderate area.
Next Chapter: Subtlety was never their strong suit.