Growing Up.

Wednesday looked at the brochures her parents had handed her. "Are these the only acceptable boarding schools?"

Her mother sighed and nodded. "These are the ones members of the family have gone to before. If you can find an acceptable substitute, then we'll consider it."

Wednesday nodded. "Thank you, Mother." She turned, heading to her room to lie down and look through her choices.

Morticia turned, looking at her husband. "I don't feel good about sending her away to school, she's much too young."

Gomez sighed, leading her over to the couch, waiting until she had adjusted to the cushion's nibbling. "We agreed she wasn't her happiest here any more. Those are all good schools, and maybe whichever one will help her come back to normal."

"I'm afraid it's much too late for that," Morticia moaned, leaning into her husband's side.

"Then we'll just have to accept her alternate lifestyle."


Wednesday looked up from the laptop her favorite Uncle, Blair, had given her. "I believe I've found one," she said, moving so her mother could sit and read the screen.

Morticia handed her daughter the mail, reading the screen. "Hmm, this school does look acceptable. Send away for information and we'll discuss it, dear." She stood up, patting her on the head. "One of those is from your Uncle Jim." She wiggled out of the room, her black dress sucking all the light as she walked.

Wednesday flipped through until she came to the envelope, screaming in delight. "Mother, may I go visit?" she called, jumping up to catch her mother in the hall. "They sent me plane tickets."

Morticia smiled. "Of course you may, Wednesday. Call and accept so you can finalize a date."

"Thank you, Mother," she said, giving her a hug, going back into her room.


Jim Ellison looked out the airport's window, frowning at the plane that was landing. "Chief, you put her on that wreck?"

"They have a good service record and the way the plane looks would soothe her. This is her first trip," Blair Sandburg reminded his partner.

"Okay, whatever," Jim muttered as he headed for the gate. "I wouldn't fly Air Goat."

Blair frowned at him but followed along to meet his niece. "Wednesday!" he called when she walked in, waving her over to give her a hug. "It's been too long."

"Only a year," Wednesday reminded him, giving Jim one of her cold smiles. "Thank you for saving me. We were deciding on schools."

"Ah, but there's one up here I want you to check into." She groaned. "Sorry." He pulled her toward the exit, Jim following. "Come on, we'll order pizza and talk."


Blair sighed as he fell onto the couch, closing his eyes. "She's going to be hard to place. Her education's been spotty and some of her skills are elementary level, but others are above what most incoming freshmen have." He took the bottle Jim handed him, sipping the cold coffee drink. "Thanks. Truthfully, I like the school she's picked out."

"Brain trust?"

"And for artists. I'm just not sure if she'd fit in there."

"Then why doesn't she home school? There are programs that don't require a teacher."

"Because then she'll have problems getting into college."

"Ah." Jim shrugged. "Won't she have problems fitting in there too?"

"Oh, yeah. Unless we can find a place where strange things happen and no one notices."

Jim snorted. "There's this town in California that had a thirty percent death rate, and most of them are put into the unsolved category, but they have a low murder rate."

"Which could be perfect," Blair said wistfully. "Can you get me a town name and stats?"

"Yeah. The Police Department ranking sheets came in today. I'll get you a copy." Jim looked toward the bedroom where Wednesday was. "She's not asleep."

"I know. She misses her pets." Blair got a slow smile on his face. "I could home school her."

"Chief," Jim warned.

"No, two students won't make a difference and I'm owed so many favors from other Teaching Assistants that I could cancel most of them out. I have a good enough grasp of everything except higher maths and chemistry. We could do it by internet, by webpage if we had to. I could put up the worksheets, give them the address and let them work on them before mailing them back to me."

"Which will be a lot of extra work."

"Not if I get my work study, who's a net-liver, to help. I have some worksheets made up and I can get teacher copies of workbooks."

"Okay, now that you're most of the way there, what's the downside?" Jim asked gently.

"Hmm, my time may be cut a little shorter. Depending on how they go through it, I may need to be a little harsh with the kids."

"Your lover may complain when you forget he exists," Jim reminded him.

"I'll take those complaints with honey," Blair said, grinning at him. "I won't forget you. And if I try, then you can complain and I'll listen."

"All right," Jim agreed. "I'll help you with it."

"Thanks," Blair said, putting down his bottle so he could hug his lover. "We'll tell her in the morning and start setting up the curriculum."

"Slow down, Chief, she may not want to do this. Or Pugsley might not."

"Please?" Wednesday called. "Pugsley said so too!"

"See," Blair smirked.

"Yeah, okay," Jim admitted in defeat. "I'll help."

Wednesday ran out and hugged them both, then went back to chatting with her brother.


Jim looked over the planned courses, shaking his head. "How are they going to get through all this, Chief?"

"It's not *that* many courses," Wednesday said, looking at her own copy.

"They'll be going all year round," Blair reminded him. "The ones with stars are usual mandatories, the rest are good for college." He looked up at Jim through his lashes. "Did you get that information on that town?"

"Yeah, and a little bit more. They have two colleges there."

"Where?" Wednesday asked, head popping up.

"Sunnydale, California."

"Oh! The Hellmouth!" she said happily. "I'd be really good there."

Blair closed his eyes and nodded. "I don't want to know. We'll just plan to let you go to college there."

"There's a branch of the University of California system just outside of town."

"Good, a big system has more options and it's easier to get lost on the campus. We'll go online tonight to get information for Wednesday."

Wednesday put down her sheet. "I want to do basic psychology and sociology. It'll help me later."

Blair nodded, giving her a thoughtful look. "Okay. I have some old books and we'll send them with you."

"Father would gladly buy us books."

"True, I had forgotten about that." Blair shrugged. "Okay, we'll talk with them tonight so we can get permission."

Jim cleared his throat. "She may need to pass standardized tests to show her levels, maybe even to get out of some of the lower mandatories." He pushed his copy of the curriculum aside. "Pugsley may need more of a math and science-based path."

"Yeah, it would help with his blowing things up," Blair said dryly. "Got it covered. They'll both have a good base, then climb from there."

"As long as it's doable," Jim reminded. "Wednesday's fourteen."

"Two years," Wednesday said stubbornly, "plus time for requirements."

"Then let's call your state to get the requirements so we can start this."

Jim handed over the phone, letting Blair handle the bureaucrats, same as always.

**** Six Months Later.

Morticia opened the letter from the Home Schooling program, smiling her chilling smile. "Gomez, come read this," she yelled, waddling toward where her husband was helping their son with his English. "Look, dear, they accepted Wednesday's planned program."

Gomez took the paper, smiling. "Caro mio, this is excellent," he said, getting up to hug her. "Do you want to tell her or shall I?"

"Tell who what?" Wednesday asked as she walked into the room. She slapped her brother, giving him a smile. "Finish up, I'm bored."

"Darling, your advanced curriculum was accepted," Gomez said, giving her a hug. "I'm very proud of you."

"Thank you, Father." Wednesday smirked at her brother. "May I have a reward?"

Gomez stepped back, looking her outfit of long, loose black dress over - it was their compromise. "A reasonable one."

"I want to start dating." She pulled a charm out of her pocket, stroking it lovingly. "Dhaklalkd," she called.

A demon appeared behind her, his pale blue skin glowing in the weak light. "You called, precious?" he asked as he wrapped himself around her and latched his mouth onto the back of her neck over her spinal cord.

"Mother, Father, this is Dhaklalkd, my boyfriend."

"Oh, Wednesday," her mother said, misting up, "consorting with demons, I'm so *proud*."

"All of us," Gomez sighed, wrapping his arm around his wife's tiny waist, smiling at the couple. "You have our blessing to date him, Wednesday. Welcome to the family, Dhaklalkd."

"Thank you, Father. I won't break him *too* badly." She led him toward the garden. "We're going to take the tour. We'll be done before dinner." She looked up at her demon lover. "How do you feel about blue collars? I have one that would be perfect against your skin." He started to laugh but she had pulled it out and wrapped it around his throat before he realized, forcing him to the floor so he was kneeling next to her. "Good boy," she purred, smiling at him. She grabbed a rope Thing was holding, tying it to the ring in the collar. "Come, let's take the tour, my love."

"Yes, precious," he mumbled, his whole body's language saying he was going to get her for this.