The Family by Voracity
Jim looked through the spy hole in the door and grunted. He opened the door to a stunningly pale woman in a gothic black dress. "May I help you?" he asked her.
She wiggled inside, her dress being so tight that she couldn't walk normally, and turned to face him. "Does Blair Sandburg still live here?"
Jim nodded and checked his watch. "Yeah, he should be home any second now. Would you care to wait?" He waved toward the couches.
"Please." She wandered over and sat down.
"Would you like some juice or some water or something? I'm afraid it's all we have besides very old and cold coffee from this morning." He walked toward the kitchen and poured some water into a pot.
"Some water would be nice," she said and took the bottle he offered her. "Thank you."
Jim turned up his hearing so he could tell when Blair pulled in. Soon he heard the old Volvo backfiring up the street and turned to look at her. "I do believe Blair's noxious cloud of smoke is coming. He should be right up after he swears at it for a few minutes." He smiled and was chilled when she returned it.
Blair burst through the door with his usual energy. "Man, you wouldn't believe what the stupid thing did this time Jim." He stopped when he saw they had company and who it was. "MORTICIA!" he yelled and dropped his bag to go hug her. "How are the kids? And your husband?" He picked her up in a bone jarring squeeze.
She patted his shoulder and he put her down. "Well, my darling nephew, most everything's dismal for us, except for one of the Uncles died."
Blair bit his lip and sat down. "Uncle Horace?" She shook her head. "Harry?"
"Unfortunately his hand grenade went off when he wasn't ready. He and Fester were competing,"
"As usual," they said together.
"And his went off before he could move far enough away or prepare himself to be blown over the house." She smiled a little sadly. "It was such a magnificent sight though, his coat on fire and leaving a comet's tail over the roof."
Blair smiled. "Yeah, but that's the way he would have wanted it."
She nodded and smiled, and handed over the bottle of water. "You're needed at home for the reading of the will. He always did like you best and we're sure he left you something."
Blair shook his head. "I'm in the middle of the term, Mo, I can't just up and leave without any notice."
"Chief, it's a death in your family, they should allow you a few days," Jim said from the kitchen.
"I can ask," he said. "Jim, can you hang here a few days by yourself?"
Jim shook his head; there wasn't a chance that he would let Blair go without him this time. There was no telling what would happen by the look of the woman in the living room. "Not a chance, you know how much I like to meet your family."
Blair just shook his head and called the school and Simon.
Blair stood on the doorstep, waiting for Jim to finish looking at the house in disgust before he rang the bell. "Just remember. Don't be shocked because anything can happen and do *not * eat the food without me telling you it's all right. They cook with a lot of strange herbs and things that could seriously screw you up."
Jim joined him on the top step and nodded. "Okay, anything else?"
"Yeah, don't antagonize the daughter and she won't hurt you. Just treat her like you would a very fragile egomaniac."
Jim nodded and held his head after Blair rang the bell. "Did you have to do that, I wasn't ready."
The door flew open and Blair was engulfed in a tight, bone crunching hug. "Blair," Gomez said. "Welcome home, Nephew." He spun Blair into the house and turned to Jim. "And you must be my favorite nephew's friend Jim. Nice to meet you."
Jim shook his hand and was led inside. "Nice house."
"Thank you, it's been condemned three times." He waved around the foyer. "Make yourself at home, we wouldn't hear of it any other way." He turned to Blair. "That motel idea of yours was positively insulting." He took a punch at Blair's arm. "Too good for your family now?"
Blair shook his head and disengaged the young boy who was using him as a shield from his stomach. "No, no, you know better than that. It's just that we need our privacy and Jim has a few allergies, including dust."
Morticia came in and frowned. "Oh, how dreadful. We understand dear and we'll accept it graciously, this time, but next time you must come and stay for a longer visit and stay in the house." She looked around for her missing children, spotting Pugsley hiding behind his favorite uncle. "Pugsley, have you seen your sister?"
"Right here mother," she said from the top of the stairs. "I had to put away the crossbow so I wouldn't accidentally hurt Blair." She smiled her cold and chilling smile at her favorite uncle. "Would you take me around with you one day please, Uncle?"
"Sure Wens, any time you know that." He held out his arms and she skipped down the stairs and into them. Blair kissed her on the top of the head and tapped her forehead when she tried to bite her brother. "This is Jim, we work and live together back in Cascade," he introduced.
Wednesday looked around Blair's chest and smiled. "Nice to meet you," she said. "Are you staying with him at the hotel?"
Jim nodded. "Yes, unfortunately we can't take your parents hospitality this time because of my allergies."
"Poor thing. I'm sure we have just the thing to cure it." She looked over at her mother. "In the dungeon perhaps?"
Morticia shook her head. "He's a nice person dear and I'm sure we'd be a bit much for him anyway. I'm sure they'll have it under control by the next time they visit and then they can stay over." She patted her daughter's hair and led the way into the drawing room. "Wednesday, why don't you show Jim your pets and the house while we talk?"
She nodded and picked up Jim's hand, pulling him up the stairs and away from the safety of his guide.
"Blair, old man, fence with me?"
Blair nodded and sprung over the back of the couch to grab a foil. He met Gomez half way and beat him back easily. "I do believe you're out of practice." He smiled his wicked smile and attacked.
Morticia sat and watched her two favorite people in the world try to kill each other. "Ah, all is right in the world again."
Jim was dragged up the stairs to a dark and dismal room. Wednesday opened the door and locked it behind them. "Here kitty, kitty, kitty," she called.
Jim backed into a corner as a mountain lion came trotting in through a small door in the wall. It snarled at him, then turned on the little girl, coming over to try and eat her.
She hit it on the nose and snapped back, making it run away and hide.
Jim just looked at her. "And I thought *I* was different," he muttered. "So, how do you know Blair?"
Blair bounded away from the razor sharp edge of the foil and stabbed Gomez in the leg with it. "Mom's fine, how's yours?"
"Oh, fine, fine. She went with Fester on his whine fest." He shrugged and stepped back long enough to kiss his wife and lunge again. "Ah ha, almost got you that time."
Blair just shook his head and executed a dance step, not only knocking the foil out of his Uncle's hand but also sending him to his knees with a blade sticking out of his side. "Oh, I wouldn't be too sure about that," he said, leaning down to pull the blade back out. "Morticia, I do believe Gomez could use some of your tender mercies right about now."
Morticia smiled this wicked little smile. "Oui, little one, I suppose he could. I'll be in the dungeon setting up." She walked out of the room.
"Tish, French and when I can't come to you. You are too cruel Querida and I love you for it." He got up onto his hands and knees and crawled after his wife. "Wait up Cara Mia, I'm coming."
"Not yet," Blair said, running up the stairs to save Jim from his niece, "but you will be soon." Blair knocked politely and opened the door to find Wednesday showing Jim the proper way to guillotine a doll. "Jim, man, how are you?"
Jim looked up, eyes very wide at that moment. "Oh, fine, for now." The snick of the blade brought his attention back. "Are we staying for supper?"
"Nope, sorry, with your allergies and the herbs they use you really can't eat most anything that they might make." He smiled. "And you forgot your medicine to take for it."
Wednesday looked up and pouted. "Are you going to go check in already?"
"Yes, sugar, we are. But you are more than welcome to come with us." He pulled on one of her pigtails. "Come on, we'll go talk."
"Yes," she hissed and grabbed her sweater. "I should tell mother."
"They're in the dungeon, they probably don't want to be disturbed." She nodded wisely. "Besides, a little worry's good for them."
She walked out under her Uncle's arm, talking the whole way. "So, can you teach me to rebel and be mean to them, I mean really mean to them?"
Blair nodded. "Yup, and I know just the perfect way to do it too."
Blair looked down at the now blonde and tanned young girl in the beautician's chair. "That's perfect." He paid the nice man and they walked out into the rest of the mall to go find more things her parents would hate.
They stopped for a few CD's and posters at a music store and some nice bright flowery clothes in a very popular teen chain store. They bought her some hip new cool clothes at Sears and JC Penny's too and a teddy bear back pack to go with it.
Jim met them in the food court and smiled around his milk shake. "Find everything you needed to help her rebel?"
Blair nodded and pulled his niece out in front of him. "What do you think? Will her parents be shocked?"
Jim's mouth hung open. The young woman standing in front of him looked just like every other teen in the mall. Absolutely normal, except for the cold look in her eyes. "Yeah," he said, wiping of a drool line of shake. "I would be if she were mine."
Blair nodded and mouthed, "I'll tell you later."
Jim nodded and waved at the chairs. "Sit, eat a hamburger or a pizza with us."
Wednesday sat down and looked around at the assortment of stalls. "Hmm," she said, smiling.
Blair handed her his old laptop from the back of the car and smiled. "Now remember what I told you about it's care," he said. "No pets gnawing on it, no hitting brothers over the head. It's a delicate piece of electronics and must be treated with respect and kindness."
"Yes, Uncle Blair." She kissed his cheek and ran inside.
Blair waited long enough to hear the scream before pulling away.
"Tell me I'm too abnormal for this family again Gomez," he said to the mirror.
Jim opened the door to see a frowning parent standing there. "Blair's in the shower," he said, waving Gomez inside. "Give him a minute." He tapped on the bathroom door and stuck his head inside. "Angry parent's here to see you Chief."
"Be right out, just let me rinse off and comb my hair."
Jim retreated from the steam and went out to clean up his supper mess. "Sorry, I had to eat something." He threw the pizza box away; Blair had let him eat nothing but junk on this trip as a reward for coming with him and dealing with the strangeness without comment. "So, is there a problem?"
Gomez snorted. "My daughter came home looking funny." He shook his head. "I know she's at that rebellious age, but I think that was a bit too much." He turned to frown at a dripping Blair. "Did you have to do that to my little girl? She's looks like a freak now."
Blair laughed. "Well, she *did * want to rebel." He shrugged and sat down on the bed beside Jim, grabbing a pillow in case his towel showed something. "It's nothing that can't be changed back and she thought you'd like it."
"Blair, nephew, she looks absolutely hideous. All that color and her hair and those clothes," he said, shuddering at the daisy printed outfit his daughter had come home in. "How could you let her do that?"
Blair just gave him this really nasty smile. "You know I can't say no to her, or to her brother for that matter. All I did was what she asked me, to help her change some things." He shrugged.
Jim shook his head. "I didn't think she looked that bad, she almost fit in with all the other kids in the stores."
"She's listening to this music that's so loud and doesn't have any classical beats in it. I mean, how would she dance to it? And those clothes are inappropriate for her to be wearing. That outfit showed off her collarbone. She's too young for that yet."
"Well, dancing these days is more about standing on one place and gyrating than anything else," Blair said, "and that music is some of the coolest today. It's all over the radio and MTV." He leaned over and patted Gomez's arm. "The clothes are what's popular in all the teen magazines. Lighten up, all teens go through that stage."
"Yes, I remember yours. You got a buzz cut and started to hang out with the paramilitary types." Gomez smiled over at Jim. "And I see you're still not through it either."
Jim laughed. "Just because I'm a cop doesn't mean I'm a bad influence on him. I've actually helped him settle down over the years we've been together." He almost pouted. "It's not like I'm trying to get him to join a cult or anything."
"No, that would be too normal for my nephew," Gomez said, standing. He came over to hug Blair, whispering in his ear, "I'll get you for this," on his way out. He shook Jim's hand and left the room.
Blair fell back on the bed and started to laugh. Jim picked up the pillow from Blair's stomach and hit him over the head with it. "So, how are you two related?"
"We're not," Blair said, still laughing. "I'm related to his wife by marriage."
Jim frowned. "Marriage?"
"Yeah, Naomi married one of her cousins for a while. She's actually a widow." He rolled onto his side. "I'm a nephew and an uncle. We get along, but only for a while. Their life is a bit too much for me to handle for more than a month or so at a time."
Jim nodded and attacked his lifemate. "So, would they object to me?" He kissed Blair's mouth, showing him how much all this still amazed him.
Blair shook his head when he was allowed to breathe again. "Nope, they'll love you because I do." He grinned and removed his towel. "Now then, you were going to reward me for something earlier?" he hinted, waving a hand down his naked body.
"How 'bout for getting me here," Jim whispered, taking control of Blair's mouth again.
Blair checked the chair before he sat down, just in case, and looked over at the family lawyer, Huh - sister to It. Huh squeaked out a few words before starting to read the will.
Jim leaned over and whispered, "What did she say?"
Blair waved a hand and went back to deciphering Huh's words. "So then, I'm the sole heir except for a few bequests?" Huh nodded and squeaked another word. "Cool." Huh went back to explaining some things and Blair took Jim's hand. When it was all finished and Blair had signed the papers he needed to, the whole family gathered in the dining room to eat the meal Huh and Wednesday had prepared.
All the adults raised an eyebrow but sat down to eat the grilled hamburgers and all the side dishes she had made.
"Dear, would you like to explain to us what that was," Morticia asked her daughter.
"Normal teen food," Wednesday said around a mouthful of greens. "It's good tasting mother, and bad for you at the same time."
Gomez smiled. "At least she's still acting like one of us. Good job Wednesday." He took a bite of his burger and tried not to make a face. "So, did you find out any other things like that?"
"Well, let's see. The music I've been listening to is bad for you at higher volumes."
"Absolutely not," her mother said. "I think you've gotten it quite loud enough."
She pouted for a second but continued. "Hmm, there are all sorts of things on the Internet that I shouldn't get into, including some occult sites and some blatantly bad and gross things." She took another bite and swallowed. "It's even said that surfing the Internet for too many hours can be damaging."
Pugsley looked over and frowned. "I don't see why. You just sat and stared at the screen for hours on end."
"Ah, but that's the beauty of it," Jim said. "You can get lost in there for hours at a time, find things that you never imagined were possible and find all sorts of information too." He took a bite of the burger and smiled. "Not to mention how bad all that sitting and staring becomes over time." He smiled over at his mate. "I've known Blair to get lost for whole weekends at a time."
Blair blushed and shook his head. "Such a lie," he whispered and took another bite of greens. "There are other things. Those clothes make people happy when they look at them, they're bright and can hurt your eyes in the right light and the tan she got while we were shopping is damaging also."
Gomez and Morticia joined hands and smiled. "Ah, good job nephew," he said.
"Yes, it's good to know that someone is watching out for her when we can't," Morticia said. She glanced up and saw the look Blair was giving Jim. "Was there something you wanted to tell us? An announcement perhaps?"
Blair grinned and took Jim's hand in his, squeezing it lightly. "We're joined, a family unto ourselves."
Huh looked up and said... something. Gomez and Morticia clapped and the children grinned.
"Oh, and we missed the wedding," Morticia said. "That was positively cruel of you."
"Nope, no wedding Mo," Blair said. "You know how I am with institutionalized arrangements and permission to live." He frowned at the children. "Otherwise I would have had to invite a whole lot of people and we couldn't have afforded that."
Gomez smiled. "It's true, you do know a lot of people." He looked over at the happy couple. "You know, I, we," he took his wife's hand and kissed the back of it , "could throw you a reception. You're still going to be here for another day, right?"
Blair nodded and Jim's cellphone went off. Jim excused himself from the table and walked a little ways away. "Hello?"
"Jim, how's the family? You know you're going to treat us all to supper when you get back, right?" Henry said.
Jim sighed in relief. "Henry, what's wrong? We're in the middle of dinner."
"Well, we've had an old case of yours' come back to haunt us. Some more than others. Joel and Simon are missing, Meagan is frantic. I'm in charge until you come back. So, when can we expect you?"
"By tomorrow morning," Jim said, rubbing that spot on his forehead again. "We'll fly home tonight." He hung up and walked back to the table, kissing Blair's head. "We have to go home tonight. An old case has reared it's ugly head and has taken a few of our co-workers hostage."
Blair looked up and frowned. "Everything be okay until we get there?" Jim nodded so they turned back to their hosts. "I'm sorry guys, we can't stay. This is more important than staying and catching up." He scooted back and went around the table hugging each one, kissing each of the kid's cheeks. He handed one of his cards to Wednesday and pulled Gomez up for a tight hug. "I'll see you guys soon," he promised.
Jim shook everyone's hand and followed his mate out the door. When they were in the car and on the way back to the hotel, Jim turned to look at his mate. "So, what did Huh say?"
Blair laughed. "Oh, I'm the sole heir, all the money's in a trust fund for me, there's enough so I never have to lift a finger again. The usual."
Jim just shook his head and finished driving back to the hotel to get their things. "Okay." He nodded. "Oh and Henry said we owe them all supper when we get back."
Blair started to laugh. "Do you think they'd like to hear about the family too?"
Jim started to laugh also, thinking about what their co-workers would think if they told them *half* of what had went on. "No. I think they'd make us see a doctor if you told them."
Blair served up the pasta and sat back down in his chair. "So, anyway, my niece Wednesday asked me to help her rebel. We went to the mall and got her hair dyed and picked her out some new clothes and music." He took a bite.
"Her father vowed revenge," Jim finished. "Said he couldn't believe what Sandburg had done to his little girl."
Blair just smiled. "Yeah, and I'm sure it's going to be good too." He got up to answer the door. He opened the door to his niece and her bags and stood there with his mouth open.
"Just don't do it to my kid. Please, promise me you won't do that to my son," Simon said.