Pairing: Kate Fuller/Seth Gecko
Fandom: From Dusk Till Dawn - The Series
Disclaimer: I don't own
AU Universe - The Fullers meet Seth and Vanessa before Seth gets sent to prison.
Summary: When Kate meets her new neighbors, Seth and Vanessa Gecko, she immediately develops a crush on the handsome man. She does her best to fight her growing crush, but as she and Seth become friends, and she realizes that there is a LOT of trouble in Seth and Vanessa's marriage, Kate begins to fear that she will stop caring that her feelings for him are pure sin.
Kate Fuller was used to this, used to being dragged along with her brother Scott behind her parents as they brought a homemade dessert and Bible to every new neighbor once they moved in. She'd learnt to look forward to these little events, as did Scott, since it gave them an excuse to get a good first look at whoever was new in the neighborhood. Usually the eighteen year old was able to get a glimpse of the new neighbors before actually meeting them (her mother quite enjoyed peering through the blinds and calling her over to join her in the spying) but this time the neighbors had moved in late at night and other than being able to tell that it was a young couple, Kate (and her mother) hadn't been able to catch a good glimpse of them. It was probably why Kate was more interested in this exact meeting.
Whatever her reasons for wanting to be here had been before, she forgot them all the second the door swung open to reveal a handsome man who left her breathless and wide-eyed behind her parents. He was-oh wow.
"Can I help you?" He eyed them suspiciously.
"We're here to welcome you to the neighborhood, son." Her father smiled as her mother reached out and handed him the pie. "You're going to love that, my wife's a genius in the kitchen."
The guy eyed them in confusion as he received it, holding it as if he'd never held a pie before as he called out over his shoulder. "Vanessa?"
A gorgeous woman appeared behind him and smiled brightly at them. "Howdy neighbors!"
"They've brought us pie." The man handed it to her, still visibly confused.
"And the Good Lord's Word." Kate's father passed them the Bible.
Both Vanessa and her husband looked at it as if it was the oddest thing they'd ever seen, before Seth took it from Pastor Jacob Fuller.
Vanessa smiled. "Why don't you come in for a couple of minutes?"
Her husband did not look pleased and yet didn't comment as he stepped aside.
"We'll only intrude for a couple of minutes, you two must be so busy unpacking." Mrs Fuller stepped inside first, ever eager to see the inside of the house.
Scott, Kate's adopted brother, followed right after, muttering: "Cool! Dad! Come look at this!"
"Pardon the intrusion." Pastor Fuller took off his hat as he entered.
Kate was left on the doorstep with the nameless guy, who was still holding the Bible awkwardly. She gave him an embarrassed little smile. "I'll try and get them to leave in under ten minutes."
He blinked before a crooked smile lit up his face. "I take it you have to do this often."
"My parents are very friendly Mr-."
"Gecko, but call me Seth." He rearranged his grip on the Bible and held out his hand. "And you are?"
"Kate." She shook his hand and bit back a gasp at the electricity that raced down her spine at his touch. "Uhm, my parents usually are better than this at introductions but mom really wanted to see what the inside of your house looked like."
He snorted in dark amusement. "I think she's in for a world of disappointment."
"No way, her curiosity will be sated so she'll be happy." Kate shook her head.
Seth eyed her before he cleared his throat. "You should probably come inside."
She nodded, a flush rising up her cheeks as she slipped passed him into the house.
She was praying more than ever lately, and not because her piety had increased, but because her lustfulness had.
Kate couldn't believe it, couldn't fathom the fact that she was that type of girl, but every single time she saw her hot older neighbor her crush on him grew. He was all sorts of contradictions that fascinated her, as did his dark humor and apparent need to keep away from everyone else, and no matter how many times she tried to remind herself that he was married she couldn't stop her crush from growing. He always did something so utterly cute without even trying to that it made her heart hurt, especially since she really felt that Vanessa didn't understand him the way she should, and Kate was fighting with the dark little voice inside of her that screamed that his wife didn't deserve him. It wasn't her problem, wasn't her business, but she wanted it to be.
Dear Father in heaven, please save my soul and change me, I have become a Jezebel, a Delilah!
And yet even as she prayed, Kate's gaze searched for, and eventually found, Seth Gecko in the midst of the large neighborhood party. He stood off in the darkness on his own, cradling a beer and looking mightily uncomfortable and out of place.
Somewhere in the crowd of people Vanessa's laughter could be heard, the woman in her element and enjoying herself immensely.
Kate prayed for strength, prayed for guidance, prayed for something to happen, a sign that would tell her to stop looking at Seth and to walk away and ignore him like a good girl should.
Seth suddenly looked up and noticed her stare on him. A small smile touched his face as he gave a small wave.
My god, but she was weak!
The eighteen year old was walking towards him before she even realized what she was doing, the smile on her face a mixture of brightness and embarrassment as she found herself standing in front of him. "So, you're obviously the life of the party."
He snorted in amusement, his grin growing. "What gave it away?"
"Your joie de vivre," she responded, face emotionless.
Seth snickered in amusement as he took another swig of his bottle of alcohol. "These really aren't my kind of things, but Vanessa told me we need to be personable and get along with our neighbors. No offense, but I don't give two shits if I get along with most of these people."
"That's mean." And yet Kate was smiling as her gaze surveyed the crowd. "If you were friends with Mr Tyler he'd invite you over to his place during the football season, there's almost a club of guys who go there for every game since he has the best television set and alcohol." She tapped her lip as she continued to stare at the crowd. "Mrs Livingston, the one with the purple wig? Her son owns his own IT repair-shop and she gets him to repair her friends' things for free." Kate tilted her head to the side and continued to search the crowd. "Mr Hunter is the guard at the bank and is good friends with the tellers so he always makes sure we get in the quickest line in the bank and also understands a lot of what the bank is doing, like promotions and specials and such, and he'll always share that information. The only thing is I wouldn't tell him any secret because once he gets drunk he doesn't have a filter and will tell anyone anything... So heads up on that. But otherwise he's an incredibly nice guy." Her gaze fell on someone else. "Oh! And Bobby Waters! There's a guy you want to keep on the good side of! He's the head of the neighborhood watch, which is really just another word for the Gossip Club, and if there's anything you want to know anyone who lives in this neighborhood it's him."
There was silence before Seth spoke, his voice highly amused. "You're an interesting mix: the preacher's daughter with the instincts of a con-artist."
She blinked and turned towards him, not sure if she'd been insulted or complimented.
Seth's grin was still in place as he stared at her before suddenly he cleared his throat and looked away as he took another swig of his beer. "So, who else should I make an effort to get to know?"
Kate grinned brightly. "Well, there's also the Harrison Twins, they're really handy when-."
She didn't know how it'd happened, but somehow she spent the whole night letting out the beans on every neighbor to Seth, who seemed to be taking mental note of each and every person, genuinely interested in what she had to say, even asking questions now and again. Usually she'd spend these parties with her family or the few kids her age from the neighborhood, but Kate forgot all about them and had so much fun her face was hurting from just how much she was smiling. And every time Seth would chuckle or send her a side-ways glance or raise an eyebrow at something she'd said or offer a darkly humorous comment of his own-that crush got more and more dangerous.
She managed to forget about Vanessa until the woman appeared out of nowhere, clearly bouncing with happiness, and with a "Hey Katie" pulled Seth away with a "you just HAVE to meet this guy!"
Seth sent Kate an apologetic look over his shoulder.
Kate smiled and nodded to him, hands clasped behind her back, all the happiness she'd felt before shattered at her feet at the remembrance of why it was wrong to enjoy herself with him so much.
She'd tried her best to stay away from her handsome neighbor and keep from even looking at his house. Kate had done her best. It'd been two weeks since the neighborhood party and other than waving to Seth and Vanessa once when they'd noticed her going up the steps to her front door she hadn't had any sort of contact with them. She'd immersed herself in reading the Bible, in listening to her father's religious music, in even attending some of the bible lessons he had with the newly converted or those who were interested in converting. She'd prayed and prayed and prayed until her knees started to hurt her. She'd fasted. She'd done everything she could think of, but nothing was keeping the thoughts of Seth Gecko out of her head and she was scared that maybe she was obsessed.
Maybe she was like that woman in Fatal Attraction. Maybe she was mental. Maybe, just maybe, Seth and Vanessa were actually scared of her because she was some sort of psycho.
So many worries plagued her and she even lost weight over the whole issue as she struggled with her guilt. She wasn't Catholic but she was sorely tempted to go to Confession just because she needed totell someone, someone who couldn't judge her, someone who didn't even know her.
She was toying with the idea of it, and even heading towards the Catholic church in town, when she noticed someone stumbling out of the local bank, clearly drunk, and her eyes widened when she realized who it was when he turned his head and looked at her. Obviously God had it in her for. That was the only thought she could think as Seth Gecko stumbled towards her.
"Neighbor!" He grinned brightly as he slurred. "Long time no seeeee."
"Are you okay?" She made a face and caught him when he stumbled.
"M'fine." Seth nodded his head longer than necessary, beer on his breath. "What've you been up to? Taking care of the homeless?"
She raised an eyebrow, not sure if he was mocking her or not. "No."
"Bad pastor's daughter." He chuckled as if he'd said the funniest thing in the world.
"I'll never understand why people actually do this to themselves." But then again, she was enjoying his scent (other than the alcohol) as she found herself turning them around and starting to lead him back towards home. Thankfully it was only about six or so blocks from where they were and they should be able to make it. "You can't even walk straight."
"Lies!" And he proceeded to stumble and nearly take her down with him.
Only managing to barely somehow keep them both of their feet, Kate sent him a sideways glance as she tightened her grip around his waist. "Did something happen?"
"Why would you think something happened?"
"Well, unless you just really wanted the people at the bank to think you're drunk, and I can't think of any reason why you'd want them to think so unless you were trying to get their guard down so you could case the joint and then rob the bank, well… Something must've happened." She bit her bottom lip. "Did you hear bad news? Are your parents okay?"
Seth was quiet and he stopped stumbling as much as he had before, but he still leaned hard on her. "My parents are dead."
"Oh." She worried her bottom lip. "I'm so sorry. Was it recent?"
"Nah. Happened when me and my brother were kids." He let out a dark snort of laughter. "My drunken ass of a father fell asleep with a cigarette in his hand and burnt himself alive-caught the whole damned apartment on fire at the same time. If it wasn't for Richie pulling me out of bed when I was sleeping I would've died in the fire too."
"So Richie is like your guardian angel or something like that, huh?"
He snorted. "He's no angel, I can tell you that." He let out a deep sigh. "But I owe him my life and I'll never be able to repay him for that." He shook his head. "I'm the older brother, I should've been looking out for and protecting him not the other way around, you know?" He looked up at the night sky. "I don't even know why I'm telling you this. I haven't even told Vanessa."
Kate's heart skipped a beat as she told herself not to dare feel special. "Well, you're incredibly intoxicated. I don't have much experience with dealing with very drunk men, but from what I've been told they usually get very truthful."
"Not the first time I'm drunk," he reminded her sourly.
She smiled in amusement at the petulant sound in his voice. "I'm not surprised. A can of beer seems to be your accessory of choice. You almost always have one in your hand whenever I see you."
"Someone sounds like her dad."
Kate flinched at the thought. "That's exactly what every girl wants to hear. That she's like her father."
"Didn't say you looked like him," Seth defended. "Now that would've been an insult."
Despite the fact that she loved her father, Kate burst out laughing and nodded. "It would've!"
Seth chuckled softly to himself as he changed the subject. "So, your father tells me you're going to college soon."
She sent him a sidelong glance, wondering if he and her father talked about her often. "Once I decide where I'm going. I've gotten into a couple of the ones I wanted and some I never thought I would."
He smiled softly to himself. "You're a smart girl, Kate, smarter than I ever could've hoped to be. You're going to get farther in this life than I ever did. Send me a postcard when you do."
A frown touched her lips at the wistfulness in his voice. "Don't say that."
"Don't say what?" He asked her curiously.
"You act as if you haven't amounted to anything, like you think you're not good enough or something." She'd noticed the self-depreciating way he spoke about himself with before, and it always bothered her.
"Between you and me, I'm really not the best guy, Kate." He cleared his throat. "It would do you good to remember that."
"Stop saying things like that." Her eyes narrowed on him. "Stop putting yourself down!"
"Yes you are! Constantly! And I can't stand it!" She felt embarrassed all of a sudden for her outburst, her head lowered as her voice came out in a soft whisper: "I think you're incredible."
Uncomfortable silence fell between them and remained there long after they finally reached the house and she dropped him on his doorstep.
"Now, Preacher…" Seth shook his head. "Don't you get enough preaching on the pulpit every Sunday? I think you should just take today off."
"Son, a minister's work is never done." Jacob Fuller clapped his back. "We are always on call in the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
"Believe me, he really is." Scott sighed.
Kate looked up from the magazine she was pretending to read and chanced a look in their direction.
Seth and Vanessa had invited them all over for barbecue (which had obviously been Vanessa's idea) and the men were gathered around the barbecue grill she hadn't even realized the neighbors had.
"And so I said," Vanessa smirked at Kate's mother, "it's me or the dog. So he finally gave that fleabag mutt to his brother, Richie, who is another mutt if you ask me."
"I'm sure you don't mean that," Mrs Fuller shook her head.
"But I do! That dog was atrocious." Vanessa made a face at it's very memory.
Kate frowned at Vanessa before she returned her attention to Seth and saw him gazing at Vanessa with a small frown on his face as well.
Seth took in a deep breath and took a swig of his bottle of beer before his gaze slid to hers and he paused. His Adams Apple bobbed as he swallowed his gulp of beer and the corner of his lips twitched for a second before he gave a small, nearly imperceptable wave.
Kate blushed at having been caught staring and looked down at the magazine once more. She excused herself after a couple of minutes saying she wasn't feeling better, and spent the rest of the day on her bed staring at the ceiling, heart racing.
The shouting could be heard even at their house, which wasn't surprising considering there was only a wooden fence between their house and that of the Gecko's. The sound of a door slamming shut, as well as a car engine roaring to life and speeding down the road heralded one of Vanessa's many escapes to go and cool off. At least nothing had broken this time, the woman liked to throw things when she was angry.
Lying by the side of the pool, wearing her bikini and eyes on her magazine, Kate couldn't help but wonder what they'd fought about this time. Their fights were beginning to become the talk of the neighborhood, as well as the couple's very colorful language as they shouted curses at each other. Kate hated herself a little bit more after every argument they had because she could feel something dark inside of her gleeful at the fact that all wasn't well in paradise.
If only her parents could see inside her soul, could read her mind, and hear her thoughts. They'd be so horrified at knowing what a horribly sinful child they'd conceived and raised! They'd be so heartbroken and ashamed!
The back door to the Gecko's home opened and slammed shut, Seth audibly still in a sour mood as he talked on the phone with someone. "I don't know what the hell to do, Richie. Sometimes I just want to put my hands around her neck and squeeze!"
Kate felt a little bad for eavesdropping, but then again he was the one talking loudly in his anger and it wasn't like she'd gone to the back yard to listen in on him. She'd been there first!
"I know, I know-will you stop calling her that? She isn't a-why do I even call you whenever I fight with Vanessa? You hate her." Seth sounded very tired, somewhat resigned, and very much annoyed. "That's not true. I'm not trying to opt out and looking for you to give me a good reason to do so."
Kate raised her magazine higher to hide her face even though no one was watching her, her guilt settling in her stomach for how eager she listened to this conversation. She was going to hell, there was no more doubt about it anymore.
"I'm over with that kinda life, Richie. I'm trying to settle down and be a good man for once." He let out a dark chuckle. "Shut up." He sighed. "It's not like that. I'm not that kind of fucking bastard."
Kate bit her bottom lip, wondering what his brother had said.
"What would you know? You haven't even seen her!" Seth sounded quite annoyed. "No. I don't want you visiting, I still haven't recovered from the last time you and Vanessa were in the same room together." He snorted. "Yeah, talk to you later too." He sounded tired once more. "Take care of yourself, little brother."
The first time she saw him in church Kate barely kept from laughing. She'd never seen a more uncomfortable looking guy in her life! He fidgeted in the pew and kept sending everything and everyone wary looks, as if expecting someone to be God in disguise ready to shoot a lightening bolt at him. He was obviously not a church-goer, never had been, and was only here because of the beaming woman next to him holding a hymnal up and bluffing her way through a song neither of them knew. Vanessa looked like a kid enjoying a now toy, and Seth looked like someone who just wanted to be at home, on his couch with a beer in his hand and a game on the television.
Kate's parents were ecstatic, of course, and the girl knew that now that Vanessa and Seth had finally given in and actually come to church her parents were going to hound and wear them down until they became regulars. Her father was a compelling man and his wife was his best weapon, the woman always preaching on the pulpit on how he'd saved her life and how every word she heard from him in the pulpit quenched her soul. Together the two of them were enigmatic, a winning team, and the Geckos wouldn't be the first reluctant couple who her parents had worn down and converted.
Her mother was at the piano playing a hymn while her father led in the song and encouraged everyone to 'rise and greet thy neighbor with joy'.
Scott got up immediately, always enjoying this part of the service because it meant he got to hug Tricia, the girl he'd been crushing on since second grade. Their church was very small and very intimate, their father always encouraging everyone to be loving with the other and 'to greet your brethren with a kiss'. Usually Kate would smile at how cute that was and indulged in the hugs and well-wishes during this part of the service, but for the first time she hesitated because God would surely strike her down dead in her pew if she went near Seth Gecko while in the holy church.
"Hey Katie!" Vanessa grinned and scooped her in a tight hug before letting go and hugging Mr Hunt.
Kate hugged elderly Mr Fitzpatrick and effortlessly avoided the placement of the hands of the elderly (yet still quite fresh) old man.
"Really, old man?" A voice asked, amused.
Mr Fitzpatick cleared his throat and went to look for Tricia, his next victim.
Kate turned to find herself face to face with Seth Gecko. "He, uh, meant no harm. He's just an old man."
"An old man who clearly knows how to get away with stuff a younger guy never could." Seth gave a little snort, his gaze on the man in question before he was suddenly hugged by buxom Mrs Granger, who gave him a little wink before scooping Kate in a tight hug and continuing on her way. "Okay, this is weird."
Kate smiled in amusement. "Not that weird."
"I've gotten more hugs in the last five minutes than I have in my whole childhood." Seth's eyebrow rose.
"I'm sorry to hear that." Her smile fell, the girl able to see dark shadows in his eyes at the memory of his childhood. "Everyone needs a hug now and again, need to feel that human connection."
"Not everyone needs that touchy-feely crap." He shrugged, his hands in his pockets as his gaze slid away.
"Every kid does."
He cleared his throat and licked his lips, still unable to look at her.
She almost asked him if he really didn't want to be touched, but blushed at the very thought of saying those words when she felt the way she did. The girl cleared her throat as well and looked away from him, her hands folded over her chest.
The duo didn't speak to each other, didn't even look at the other as they were hugged by other parishioners, but they didn't move away from each other until the song had ended and everyone returned to their seats.