Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners
Fandom: From Dusk Till Dawn TV Series
Rating: Teens and up
Pairing: mainly Richie Gecko x Kate Fuller, (hinted) Seth Gecko x Kate Fuller x Richie Gecko, Seth Gecko x Kate Fuller, Seth Gecko x Richie Gecko
Characters: Kate Fuller, Richard ‘Richie’ Gecko, Seth Gecko, (mentioned) Amaru, Carlos Madrigal
When Kate walks through the portal to hell, she wants to kick the queen of hell’s ass. But that isn’t her only purpose; she has someone there she must definitely bring home.
She only hopes she isn’t too late.
Or what I imagine happened between Kate and Richie when they were in the underworld (which the season finale was running out of show time and didn’t bring to screen).
When Kate sauntered through the gate of hell (quite literally), her companion was a tumult of emotions: a boiling rage directing at Amaru for using and disposing her body as she saw fit; an acidic hatred for every monstrosity the queen bitch had committed on her loved ones, with her hand no less; a thirst for vengeance so hot Kate could wield it like a burning sword; an unjustified confidence that she would be able to close the portal and send Amaru back where she belonged; a clouding uncertainty of how she would actually do it, and finally, a gnawing fear that she might be too late, or wrong about Richie’s fate. Soon as she came around from her post-Amaru possession, she had caught glimpses through the queen’s eyes, brief glimpses that resembled snapshots from a paranormal camera. Thanks to them she was able to piece together a picture of what had happened to Richie, and she felt a profound relief that Amaru’s weird fixation on him had prevented her rampant murderous hand. Nevertheless, not until she was one foot in hell did she become oddly paranoid – a ‘hello’ from the other side that was. Her fists clenched, her arms pressed against her body and she gritted her teeth, bracing herself for what else the underworld had to offer.
Hell was nothing like her imagination stemmed from her Christian upbringing: instead of fire and brimstone spurting from numerous cracks on the earth and the sky black as ink, what presented to her sight was a vast desert land, the sun eclipsed and the whole scene dipped in an orange-ish hue not unlike an Instagram filter. No demons, no tormented souls, nothing. Only sand, and more sand. She had expected the underworld to be associated with fire, not with sand, but since the ‘Devil’ herself had no red skin, hircine horns and hooves, it kind of reconstructed her belief a little.
She walked, having no definite destination in mind, just letting her feet carry her by their will. When it came to this version of hell, Kate knew next to nothing; still, what her conscious mind failed to grasp, her body knew by itself. Her flesh, dead by the moment her last mortal breath had escaped her lungs, had been revived by the potent blood of the queen, every fiber imbued with her devilish power and ancient knowledge. Amaru had bled, yet in her impatience to walk in her own skin again, a tiny amount of blood had tenaciously stayed in Kate’s veins. Like a barbed red string winding around her wrist, binding her to Amaru. Whether it would eat into her flesh and consume her soul remained to be seen but right now, it was giving her a distinct leverage in this single mission through hell. If she concentrated her mind on finding Richie, who had been possessed by Amaru in Kate’s body before, it might just give her a lead to his whereabouts.
Kate closed her eyes as this habit helped gear her thoughts towards the younger Gecko. Images danced on her consciousness, black and white and distorted at first but quickly getting vividly colored and stable: from their fateful encounter at the pool, their bumpy ride to the Titty Twister, every horrific event happening at that hellish bar and beyond up to the final moments of her life as the human Kate Fuller. A spark of pain jabbed her abdomen as if the bullets were piercing her again and then it was gone. Her lips curled in a grimace. The stream of images didn’t end with her death; it kept flooding her mind and she soon realized she was seeing with another person’s eyes. It was difficult to tell whose; one second it appeared to be Amaru’s and the next, Richie’s. The constant flipping of perspective, coupled with her earlier blood loss, was making her head spin. One hand holding her forehead, her body hunching, she lamented the sore fact that there wasn’t a single tree in this barren land for her to lean on and balance herself. If this was a fraction of Amaru’s abilities that had become hers now, Kate figured it could take a while to get used to and actually gain control of it.
Well, Kate would be disappointed if it was too easy to plunder the queen’s powers.
There was a flicker and another switch of view occurred. Kate was perplexed because she couldn’t tell whose eyes she was seeing through this time. It was certainly neither Amaru’s nor Richie’s: Amaru was on the other side and there was no way Richie could be looking down on himself. Still, if it wasn’t Amaru or Richie, she couldn’t think of anyone else who possessed a mental link with her. She blinked furiously, deliberately cutting off the stream of images. She had seen enough and it was the time to act and if she didn’t act now, and fast, something ugly might happen. Kate had no luck guessing who else could be mentally connected to her – gotta save the question for later – but the sight she’d seen via her vision-sharing mechanism was worrisome: the reason she’d been able to look down on Richie was because his impressive height had been reduced by his kneeling position. Kate deduced that whoever was having Richie on his knees with a hand around his throat could never be an ally. With determined look, she straightened her back and moved forward.
Hell was everything like his imagination, Christian upbringing or not: a vast nothingness stretching out toward the horizon. There was no fire, no brimstone, no twisted bizarre creatures soaring in the dark sky, and it was exactly why this hell was frightening. For a man like Richie, a hell worthy of fear wasn’t a litany of red-skinned and horned demons stabbing their forks into human souls but something like this: an endless empty space and a harrowing knowledge that you would have to spend an eternity here, all by yourself. Loneliness cut deeper than any Xibalban blades and a mere thought of never seeing Seth again nearly shattered Richie’s mind, rendering him an insane beast that gnawed his own flesh. He was a man standing tiptoed on a precipice, and the only thing that kept him from giving into gravity was a sliver of hope – to return and save su hermano. Brought to him by Carlos fucking Madrigal no less. Vague as it was, this hinted that he still had a chance of return; if Carlito could hop back and forth between two realms, why couldn’t he? As far as he was concerned, they were both tampered by Xibalba. He just needed to figure out the way because Carlito, being the fucker that he naturally was, always failed to include the most crucial detail and this hell wouldn’t be kind enough to pop down some sort of door for him. Think, Richard, think.
“It’s futile, Richard,” a voice said. More like breathed into his ear.
Richie turned sharply to its source. A dark, obscure figure appeared in his sight. He shook his head and blinked, feeling like he was suddenly all myopic again. The figure was striding toward him with grace, speaking as they went, “You will leave here never. It’s your place and you belong with us till the end of time…”
The figure became clear at last. Richie couldn’t help but gasped as though seeing a ghost.
He was seeing a ghost. A ghost that made tear prick hotly at the rims of his eyes.
“Kate…” he muttered, reaching his hand to her. He needed to make sure that she was real and not a mirage.
“… as our slave.”
It was as if gravity just increased tenfold and heavy, invisible hands pushed him down on his knees. His expression twisted as sharp pain wrecked through him; his kneecaps might have popped. Her nimble fingers wrapped around his throats felt like cold hard vice. Smiling, she forced him to look up into her solid red eyes. The red looked as though it could be spilling out of her sockets any moment.
“Look how ready you are to be on your knees. I love that spirit. Born to serve.”
This couldn’t be Kate, Richie willed his mind to think. Kate was gone – Amaru had informed him with a triumphant note in her tone, having learned that the mortal girl’s death would easily pain him more than any psychological tortures she’d tried on him. Even if she was alive, the real Kate would never smile such a wicked smile, never speak in such a cruel tone, no matter how mad she was. The real Kate was light; this ‘Kate’ in front of him exuded darkness. She looked like Amaru while she had been in Kate’s body, except that he knew for sure the queen bitch was busy plotting and preparing her domination on the human world. He was in hell and this distorted impostor might just be his torture. A clever and effective one to make him submit. He would not.
The tips of her fingers became iron-hot and from there, heat invaded every nook and canny of his body. The blood in his veins was boiling – like goddamned ready-made soup being cooked in the microwave. It took every ounce of Richie’s will not to scream; the last thing he wanted was to allow her the satisfaction of knowing she was breaking him.
Kate arrived to the scene of Richie being put on his knees and anger immediately rose in her. His exposed skin was all red and blistering like he was having second-degree burn, except the eclipsed sun here did no harm to his kind. He was in tremendous suffering and his tormenter, it wasn’t difficult to notice, was the demon looking like her long lost twin, except she had none. Now she’d gotten her answer for her earlier mystery. It was her shadow self, as she had learned from her crash course about Xibalba: everyone on the realm of light had a demonic counterpart in the realm of shadow – sort of a yin-yang mirror. And hers was taking advantage of their shared countenance and memories to hurt Richie. Kate couldn’t help but being hotly reminded of how helpless she had been when trapped inside her own body and forced to watch Amaru have her way with her loved ones, all the while using her face as a mask. It should be different this time; back then she hadn’t a choice and right now she had, and she chose to act. Impatiently she scanned the area, looking for something she could use as a weapon. She let out an exasperated huff when she found none, not even a twig or a rock, just sand and more sand, the same as where she had left. She wished she hadn’t left the sword on the other side of the gate. Xibalban steel would do this vile thing wonderfully.
Her gaze landed at her feet. She had an idea.
It seemed to last forever, the agony, while in reality it was only a couple minutes before Richie heard a whack. Wrapped in pain, his mind was at a loss to decipher the meaning of such a peculiar sound. It took a while for him to realize it was the signal for his torture’s end: the pressure on his throat vanished, the air whooshed in and the pain subsided till it was only an echo withering away. Once again he was grateful to his culebra healing factor as it kicked in timely. Once he was all healed up and calmed down, his eyes cracked open to a too familiar visage. If it weren’t for the shimmering green eyes and the gentle quiver of her lips that together painted a kind, soft face, he would not be able to tell the girl in front of him, standing like an angel, from the monster this hell had conjured. Still, it was by no means reassuring at all. Who could tell if this god-sent girl, this Kate, was not another elaborate trap? After all, this was hell; what could not happen here?
Before Richie had finished his train of thought and managed a correspondence, this Kate stepped up, her tender expression hardened, and what she did next astonished even the likes of Richie: steadily and repeatedly she hit her doppelgänger, who had sprawled on the sand after her first sneaky first blow, until the body stopped writhing. As if enthralled by her violent fit, Richie watched her unblinkingly, alternating his gaze between the newly arrived Kate and the fallen Kate. Then he noticed wisps of pale green smoke emitting from the unmoving body. With preternatural speed he didn’t know he had, Richie launched at Kate – the angelic-looking one of course – and pulled her out just in time, instinctively shielding her body with his own, as the body exploded, sending gooey bits in every direction.
With their bodies pressing together, his on hers, Richie could hear both their hearts tattooing in their rib cages. So she had heartbeat. That, coupled with the warmth and softness of her flesh that he felt despite the barrier of their clothes, helped him decide that the Kate underneath him was not a phantom. She was real; moreover, she was breathing and living and though Richie had no idea how it was possible that she was alive, he realized he just didn’t care. All that mattered was her breath ghosting on his face and her voice saying his name.
Just like that, time went back to the moment at Malvado’s lair when they first met each other again after months.
“… Get off me please. You’re crushing me.”
Richie clambered off her, less gracefully than he would like, stood up and brushed the sand off his suit, out of habit more than anything because it was already dirty anyway. He held out his hand to help her up, and was surprised that she took it wordlessly, free of hesitance. Only when she was on her feet did he notice Kate was wearing only one boot.
“You were using your boot?” he asked, his tone half amused, half curious.
“I improvised,” she replied, shrugging as she glanced at the scattered remains of her evil ‘twin’. “Steel-heeled. The bitch has a fetish sort of, which comes in handy.”
Somehow he wasn’t startled by her natural usage of coarse language.
“She said you were dead.” Amaru’s words echoed in his head as if she was standing right behind, whispering in his ears. Their connection still hold, meaning the bitch was still kicking. He would be shocked if she wasn’t.
“She knows nothing.”
“Pretty sure her first name isn’t Jon and her last name isn’t Snow.”
Kate didn’t intend to chuckle. She did.
“Still she knows nothing. Seth arrived in the nick of time and gave me a blood transfusion. I was lucky that our types match.”
“He’s never not timely,” Richie said. “And he’s type O so he can give his blood to anyone. Why did you come here?”
It would be sensible, he fathomed, that she leave this ghost town as soon as she came to herself. Anyone in her shoes would make that choice and no one, not Seth, not him, could begrudge her for getting out of this mess that they had dragged her deep into. Nonetheless, against all his rationality, he was beyond happy to see her. Her presence had brought not only joy but also hope, radiant and warm and burning strongly.
“The world is literally ending out there, Richie,” replied Kate, “so it’s no use running anywhere. It’s only a matter of time before she takes over and enslaves us all. Besides, I’ve got some scores to settle.”
“How did you come here?”
“Same way you did, through the portal. I saw it through her eyes, probably some sort of psychic residue due to her blood in me.”
A look of concern crossed his countenance. Before he voiced it, Kate said, “I got it under control… for now I guess. That’s why I know once I walk through the gate, her power will be returned to nourish the realm of shadow.” She looked around. “She isn’t the queen in name; her energy does bring this place to life.”
“You already walked through it,” he said matter-of-factly.
“I’m feeling it being sucked out as we speak. We have to hurry before it’s completely dry and we’ll be lost in here.”
“And before Seth commits suicide over our collective ‘losses’,” he quipped, just to lose a bit of tension.
Kate crossed her arms, giving him the look. “Not funny, Richie.”
“Yeah, sorry,” he said meekly. Something occurred to him. “We’ve already lost much time!”
“Time passes differently here as it does outside, which gives us a little more. Still, we’d better go now.”
Kate took him by surprise as she grabbed his hand. Her hand still felt so small in compared to his that it ended up being wrapped in his instead. She did not protest the shift.
“Let us go home.”
They were but only one step out of hell when Kate turned to Richie and conveyed through her gaze.
“Just to be clear, I’m still mad at you about last time.”
He smiled, daring to squeeze her hand a little. “Rightfully so.”
It had already ranked top in his agenda, to make amends for her, even if it’d take a lot of time. Fortunately, time was what he had in plenty.
It didn’t have to be spoken, only taciturnly understood, that once it was all over, if Kate refused to join Scott and his little fang-y gang, she would lot herself in the Geckos’ lives. For the brothers, this was the very first sneak peak of heaven after their long tedious episodes of hell.
Seth glanced at Kate’s feet, arched his eyebrows, then focused his gaze to her bare white foot.
Never before had he seen Kate’s feet, not even during their Mexican ‘honeymoon’. Neither had he had a foot fetish, unlike Richie, who had, with pleasure, licked the liquor off Santanico’s foot, but Seth thought he might be developing one.
“Why are you’re wearing only one boot?”
“She improvised,” Richie answered, having gained her silent approval. “Steel-heeled. The bitch has a fetish sort of, which comes in handy.”
“What does that suppose to mean?”
“It means,” Kate enunciated, looking at her outfit, “I need to go shopping. Have to rid the rest of the bitch’s vestiges.” She eyed the boys up and down. “You guys could use a change of clothes too.”
I’ve read some complaints that Kate completely ‘ignored’ Richie in the season finale and I don’t think it’s true at all. Sure they didn’t exchange a word onscreen, which I admit is a bit of disappointment. Still, watching the episode again, I noticed the knowing look they gave each other as they were walking with Kisa and Scott. They didn’t really have to speak because they’d already spoken what needed to be said when they were in hell. My guess is either Kate found Richie or they ran into each other and that’s how this fic came into being.
Title from Shel’s Follow Me Home.