Summary: God save the mothers whose children are murderers because they love them nonetheless. Constance and Tate, post Tate's death.
Disclaimer: I do not own American Horror Story or it's affiliates.
When she first saw her son after his death she wasn't shocked because she'd been expecting him. However, she doesn't know how to act, so she tries to take her cues from him. He seems angry, which isn't new, and he's eyeing her warily, which also isn't new, so essentially, he's giving her nothing. Fury flares through her veins. Fury at how she's been judged for the past month, Addie's constant confusion, Larry, that hideous hideous man she's being forced to live with (because of your son, her mind whispers, but she does not listen) and her own grief.
Her emotions must be flashing across her face because Tate takes a small step back. Too little, too late she thinks and she's at his side in seconds, her hand a vice around his arm.
"Mom-" he begins but she cuts him off.
"What is wrong with you?" She hisses, shaking him a bit. He looks at her in confusion. Her nails pierce his skin and he whimpers. "Answer me!" She screams, shaking him more violently.
"I don't know," he responds, trembling, attempting to blink back tears. "What did I do?"
At that she laughs bitterly, releasing her son who rubs at his arm and wipes at her tears. It's too much. Quick and sharp the flat of her hand smacks against the side of his head and he instinctively tries to cower. She grips his jaw with her hand, squeezing it with all of her strength, forcing him to look at her. Both of them are breathing heavily but unlike most of their arguments, he's the only one crying.
"Why did you do that to those people?" She growls and her spell of denial is gone.
This is her son, and he is a murderer.
God save the mothers whose children are murderers because they love them nonetheless, she thinks and it is true. She gazes into her sons eyes, which are lost and hurt and shining with tears, hoping to find discover something that she does not yet know. He shakes his head as best he can, a distorted "Mama" coming through. Shaking, and crying now as well, she releases his face only to pull him into her arms with soft, cooing noises.
They stay like that for a long time, and she pets his hair and she can't stop whispering things, apologies and endearments mostly. Eventually, he tries to squirm free, but she clutches tight to him- because her baby is dead- and he seems to understand that now is not the time and reluctantly sinks back into her embrace. She's flat out bawling by the time Larry and Addie get home and Tate is attempting, panicked, to calm her down. His arms are finally around her now but more in a please pull yourself together than in actual comfort.
That's how Larry and Addie find them, Addie assisting Larry into the room.
"What the fuck happened to your face?" Tate exclaims and the whole room freezes.
Addie, wide-eyed, who doesn't know the truth but is waiting for Tate to be chastised, her and Larry frozen for they do know the truth. Constance slowly and carefully extracts herself from Tate -because he's a bomb in every sense- her crying under control now. She gives her son an appraising look but he doesn't look apologetic in the slightest, he looks confused. Shaky, a sense of foreboding growing, Constance rose, Tate rising with her. The very second they were both on their feet, Larry lunged.
"You piece of shit!" He screamed, spit flying out of his mouth like a mad dog with rabies, blocked from Tate by Constance shielding her son. "I took you into my home!"
"That's enough!" Constance yelled, but it was in vain.
"You murdered my brother!" Tate shouted back, pushing his way out from behind Constance, who gripped his arms with a desperate fierceness wanting to shelter him as much as she possibly could.
Larry advanced, unrestrained now that Adelaide was crying. He staggered with a wild, insane look in his eyes, his breath labored. "Move away," he whispered mere centimeters away from Constance's face.
Her grip on Tate's wrist could have broken it as she struggled not to recoil and to keep Tate from doing something deranged and idiotic. "Control yourself," she responded, her voice dripping with disdain for him. "And get the hell away from me."
Larry did not move, licking his lips in preparation of his speech, as if he could convince her to abandon her own flesh and blood. "Constance," he began and a deadly, primal, motherly source emerged from within her.
Her voice came out in a hiss. "You take one step toward him and I will burn the other side of your face."
"I want him out of my house," Larry hissed back, unresponsive to her threat.
"You don't understand," She snapped with a sad shake of her head. "He already is."
Behind her Tate gave a puzzled, "Mom?" but she knew he didn't understand either. Larry's eyes widened in understanding before narrowing into slits of fury.
"No," he spat. "I will not tolerate him living in MY house."
"You don't have a choice!" Constance screamed, dissolving once more into sobs.
Larry gave her a long, hard, scathing look before turning and stomping out of the room, limping heavily as he did so. Warily, his eyes fixated on the door, Tate stepped out from behind her as she covered her mouth and sank down onto the bed. Addie, hesitant, embraced her, followed by Tate who didn't seem to understand what was going on. She wrapped an arm around both her children, kissing Tate repeatedly on the head, smoothing his curls and murmuring further sweet nothings into his ear. When she thought she heard Larry's labored, ragged breathing coming down the hall she sent Addie away and looked Tate sternly in the eye.
He bristled under her stare. "What?' He muttered, crossly and it took all her energy not to smack him.
"What do you remember from a month ago?"
"I dunno," he answered sulkily. "Am I in trouble?"
Constance chewed her lip, mulling that over. "I think you've been punished enough."
"So... I'm not in trouble?" He asked once more, for clarification.
"You're time is gonna come," she answered vaguely. "I just hope I'm not around when it does."
She kissed his forehead once more, like a promise, her eyes closed tight with the heavy weight of her knowledge. "I think it's bedtime for you." She said, pulling away in somberness.
"It's early," Tate protested quickly, seeming to respond on instinct. "Barely ten."
"I did not ask what time-"
"I'm not even tired," he continued, cutting her off. "I don't see why you get to pick when I go to sle-"
She smacked the back of his head sharply, giving him a withering glare. With a grumble and a definite roll of his eyes, Tate rose and left her, presumably to go disobey her. She sighed, deep and heavy, the moment Tate left her alone. She couldn't stay here. Her and Addie could not stay here. Not with Larry and certainly not with Tate. Her eyes closed, wishing perhaps for a simpler time, if such a time existed.
She knew, with sadness in her heart, that despite everything, despite the overwhelming love she felt towards her sons, by the end of the week she would be gone.
God save the mothers who abandon their sons and god save the sons who deserve it.