Author's Note: The 365 Project is an experimental multi-fandom project to write and post at least one short every day for the next year, not including my semi-regular bi-weekly updates. For more details, see the relevent section in my profile. This is The 365 Project, 27 November. That's Thanksgiving for my fellow United States Citizens... for the rest of you, it's Thursday.
In the immortal words of Samuel L. Clemens... "Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR."
Disclaimer: Don't own "The Addams Family" or "The West Wing", using them for entertainment purposes and as an excuse to escape from gathering family on this day without permission or intent to profit. Blame a sudden thought that Donna and Morticia had that same pale skin, straight hair and otherworldly beauty... add that Morticia's sister in the original series was a blonde and I suddenly had my story idea for the day.
"Creepy And Kooky"
By J.T. Magnus, 'Turbo'
"I'm sorry, Mom, I have to work again this year and won't be able to make it to Thanksgiving."
As he stepped out of his office into the bullpen, Josh Lyman frowned at the blatent lie his assistant told - completely out of character considering that Donnatella Moss normally only lied to protect someone - and remarked out-loud, "No, you don't."
The person on the other end of her phone conversation said something and Donna turned an angry look on Josh, "Yes, I really do."
Assuming that the look she was giving him was because of the holidays and birthdays she'd had to work through and couldn't visit her family, Josh decided to follow a piece of advice the President had once given him and be magnanimous; "Donna, if you need the time off, you can have it - Congress is going home for the holidays too, I think I can survive without you for a few days. I can pull someone from the pool or beg Charlie if I really end up needing help. Go see your family."
'Of all the times for Joshua to become generous with vacation time,' Donna mentally groaned as she listened to the other person on the phone, "Yes, mom, I understand. I know, I don't have an excuse this year..."
Seeing Josh smiling at her as though he had done her some great favor made Donna's vengeful blood rise up in her and she added, "And please, tell Aunt Morticia that I'll be bringing a friend. Enjoy your gardening, Mom."
Donna hung up the phone and pointed a finger, angrily, at Josh, "You..."
"You don't need to thank me," Josh informed her.
"You... idiot!" Donna finally spat at him, "Do you know how long I've done my best to avoid going to these gatherings?"
Frowning in confusion, Josh shook his head, "But you're always complaining that you never get to go see your family enough. I thought you'd be happy I'm giving you this time off."
"My father's side of the family, Joshua!" Donna ranted, "The nice, sane Moss side of the family; not the Frumps and Addams on my mother's side! You've never met them, Josh, they're... I still haven't figured out why my parents ever got married, they're so different, just like their families. Do you know what my mother's idea of gardening is? She cuts the blooms off of her roses and arranges the stems so that the thorns look best!"
"Sounds like some Congress members' secretaries I've met," Josh observed.
"No!" Donna continued, "You don't get to joke about this, Josh - I haven't had to attend one of these things since I turned eighteen and now you've managed to open your big mouth and put my foot in it and you know what? You're gonna pay for it, you're going with me, just so you can see what your inability to shut up got me into!"
"Uh, yeah, I would," Josh answered, "But I'm kind of needed here to - you know - help run the country and all."
The look that Donna turned on him at that statement chilled Josh to the bone, it just wasn't something that he was used to seeing from the normally friendly-if-longsuffering woman, it was predatory.
"On second thought," Josh commented, running a finger under the collar of his shirt, a collar that now seemed much tighter and constrictive around his neck than when he had dressed that morning, "Maybe I should talk to Leo about taking some time off."
"Maybe you should, Joshua," Donna agreed with that same chilling smile still on her face.
"Josh, wake up, we're here," Donna announced, punctuating it with a measured slap to his chest that wouldn't damage anything but would cause enough discomfort that he'd be unable to stay asleep. Visiting her mother's family always brought out that part of her.
"Gah! I'm awake!" Josh sat up and rubbed his chest, "Did you have to do that?"
"Do what, Joshua?" Donna asked with deceptive casualness as the car approached the gate at 0001 Cemetary Lane and slowed while the gate slowly rattled open before it.
"Never mind," Josh remarked as Donna drove through the gate, "Your aunt has one of those automatic gates?"
"Not exactly," Donna answered as the gate swung shut behind them.
"Oh, camera and remote control?" he asked as the car continued up the drive.
"Then how did it open for us?"
Putting the car into park, Donna turned and fixed Josh with a hard look, "Joshua, listen to me and I mean listen as in actually pay attention to and remember the words I'm saying, it's probably your best chance of coming out of this mess you got me into with whatever sanity you had before still intact; don't ask questions, don't make judgements, just accept and go with it. Do you understand, Josh? Whatever happens, whatever you see, just accept it and don't say or do anything."
"Donna... are you okay?" Josh asked with concern in his voice, "You're rambling worse than Sam does."
Donna sighed in frustration, "You'll see... Trust me, you'll see, Joshua, and then you'll understand why I don't come..."
Before he could reply, Donna had already gotten out of the car and was halfway around it, leaving Josh scrambling to get out himself and join her on the steps leading up to the front door. The blonde woman gave him a morbidly indulgant look before she pressed the doorbell and it rang with the sound of screeching cats and howling dogs.
"What the..." Josh trailed off mid-sentence.
"Accept it, Josh," Donna reminded him.
Slowly, creaking, the door opened and Josh found himself face to chest with something out of a Universal Studios monster movie.
"Hi, Lurch," Donna greeted the tall man, "It's okay; this is the guest Mom was supposed to tell Aunt Morticia I was bringing."
The large 'Frankenstein's Monster' looking man nodded and spoke in a slow, deep voice, "Welcome, Miss Donnatella."
As Lurch took a step back and to the side, it left Josh to stand on the front steps in disbelief.
"Accept it, Josh," Donna repeated, certain it wouldn't be the last time during the visit that she would do so.