A Good Argument
A lot of good arguments are spoiled by some fool who knows what he is talking about.
-Miguel De Unamuno
"Wednesday?" Joel called worriedly, glancing into the study. He had arrived home to the northern manor fifteen minutes ago, and had yet to find his wife. They had been married for almost a year, so by now Joel thought he knew Wednesday's habitual haunts pretty well.
She hadn't been in the dungeon, working on any of her academic projects (she was studying under a tutor, majoring in human and animal anatomy while studying the worst things to ever happen in human events as her minor), nor had she been in the attic with her blow torch working on any of her own, special projects. She wasn't even in the kitchen trying to cook (thankfully).
Her absence wouldn't have been so worrying if she had told him if she was going out, or left a note. In fact, that was the system they had established: if one had errands to run, they would tell the other in the morning, or if something came up suddenly, they would leave a note to find.
Quite a domestic practice, of course, but Wednesday would deny everything.
Joel jogged back down the stairs to the entryway just in time to see his wife enter the front doors and hang up her coat. "Wednesday, you're home!" Joel cried out in relief, causing Wednesday to stop unwrapping her black scarf from around her neck.
She raised an eyebrow while staring at him. "Yes, Joel," she said slowly. "Is that a problem?" Joel shook his head and strode up to her, grabbing her in a hug. "I'm just glad you're here," he told her, his voice muffled in her hair. Puzzled but nonchalant, Wednesday returned his embrace until she began to become stifling hot.
"Mon cher, I still have my scarf on. It's rather warm for it inside," she said lightly and her husband released her with a sheepish grin. "Sorry," he mumbled, cheeks flushing. Wednesday briefly held her hand to his cheek before she finally took her scarf off and hung it next to her coat.
"Were you looking for me?" she asked Joel as she walked with him to the parlor. Joel nodded. "Yes. I knew you said you were visiting some family at the Manor today, but you had said that you would be home before I was."
Wednesday rolled her eyes. "And you panicked when I wasn't home? You're supposed to work on getting over that. You know how I get when I'm with Mother and the Forces of Darkness- I often lose track of time while I'm helping them with their hellish crusades."
"Oh, that's why you were late?" Joel asked as they sat next to each other on the old velvet lounge. Wednesday nodded, expressionless, before adding, "I also discovered that Pubert had never played a favorite game of Pugsley and me. I had to teach it to him before I left."
"Oh? What game?" Joel asked curiously. Wednesday smiled faintly. "It's called, 'Is There A God?'"
Joel smiled down at her. "I'm glad you had fun, cara mia. And I'm glad you're home."
Just then, someone rang the front doorbell, causing it to emit a sound reminiscent of an air-raid siren. Joel sighed and Wednesday frowned more than usual. "Nobody was supposed to show up tonight," Joel grumbled. Wednesday's eyes lit up. "Go get the door, then. Don't leave Nobody standing outside." Joel grumbled some more as he got up to answer the door. There were no Lurchs in the northern manor available to take over that particular duty.
"Who is it?" Joel called through the heavy wooden door. Nobody- no one answered. Grumbling still, Joel yanked the door open and stared at the people on the other side. They stared back.
He only moved when Wednesday appeared, silently, at his elbow in front of the still open door. Her gaze darkened as she took in their- guests- but pulled Joel out of the doorway. "Come in," she said blandly. "I've been looking for some new test subjects."
Joel was finally brought out of his stupor by his wife's words. He smiled maliciously at the two people in front of them. "Wednesday's been studying internal anatomy for a while now. Her tutor recommended a live dissection for better understanding."
His mother looked at his father nervously, but allowed Wednesday to shut the door. Madeleine Glicker jumped apprehensively when Wednesday slid the large lock home, though. Simon Glicker swallowed audibly.
Wednesday and Joel silently led the way to the formal living room, which was in another wing completely from their private parlor. Instead of sitting on the large sofa that faced its exact twin, Joel chose to sit in the large armchair that sat perpendicular to the couches his parents sat on. He looked beseechingly at Wednesday, and she sat on his lap without a word.
Joel looked at his parents and his eyes narrowed automatically. He no longer even considered them his parents- Morticia and Gomez had given him so much more in the way of affection than they ever had. With the Addams, he felt like a Family, not like a family-like unit. "What do you want?" he said coldly. "I'm surprised you even had the nerve to set foot on this property."
Madeleine sniffed haughtily, finding a flaw- she thought- in his statement. "It's not your property, Joel. It's that Adams man's. You're just acting like a freeloader!" she ranted.
Wednesday intertwined her fingers with Joel's to keep him from responding. "First of all, it's Addams. Second, I've lived on these acres of land all of my life- do really think that I or Joel could confuse who owned it? And finally, we want to live near my family. Should we ever choose to, Joel has saved ample enough money to purchase any or all of the hill houses."
The hill houses were the ridiculously large and opulent estates that, odd as it may seem, sat on the large hills on the outskirts of town.
Her voice growing acerbic, Wednesday continued on. "He's been saving his money ever since we met, and with my father's assistance, invested it. Joel's investments have, in the smallest cases, quadrupled, and the largest cases would cause you both to go into cardiac arrest. So, my dearest in-laws, I truly hope you will not call your son a freeloader any time in the near or distant future."
Madeleine and Simon Glicker sat still on the sofa, faces pale. Simon coughed. "I, er, apologize for my wife. She's never had a very restrained manner. In fact, we should probably leave. We came here for stupid reasons," he rambled nervously, tugging on his wife's arm. "Let's go, Madeleine," he urged.
"Oh, go away, Simon. You never could follow through, even in bed," Madeleine complained irritably. "Joel, darling, I didn't mean what I just said. I love you," she said earnestly, ignoring the woman sitting in his lap. "In fact, I've come to rescue you."
Simon dropped his head wearily into his hands.
"You can't stay with her!" Madeleine insisted. "You can't have a baby with her, either! Come with us, darling, you can stay at home while the divorce goes through!"
Joel said nothing and no one but Wednesday could see his hands curl into fists and tremble with anger. Madeleine began to flush. "Darling, you must!" she cried. "That- that witch must have cast a spell on you. Come home, Joel. Let me help you!"
In a move so synchronized it was a blur, Wednesday stood and moved to the side right before Joel leapt to his feet and crossed the room. Within less than a second he was standing in front of his mother, his eyes furious as he grasped her arms tightly.
"You blithering imbecile, you really have no idea what you're doing, do you? Every time you open that fat mouth of yours, garbage comes spewing out. You insult my wife, whom I love more than anything anyone in the universe could offer me, and you don't seem to realize that with every word your grave is getting that much deeper. One more word against Wednesday and no one will ever be able to find you."
"Wednesday may have cast a spell on me, but only with my perfectly willing permission, you stupid bitch. I'm ashamed to ever have called you family. The only family I will ever need is standing right behind me," Joel snarled. "You're ridiculously moronic, too, did you know that? If Wednesday had truly been pregnant the day we, unfortunately, met you at the café, it would be quite obvious by now! And, obviously, she is not pregnant!" He continued as a cruel gleam appeared in his eyes.
"What I find perfectly ironic," he sneered, "is that it was only because of you that I ever met the woman who would become my soul mate. It's true," he said, relishing the denial in his mother's eyes. "Without you, Wednesday and I would never have come to be. You sealed my fate the second you refused to let me stay home from Chippewa. And if you had just done as I asked, I never would have met Wednesday. I would have grown up to be some allergy-prone businessman, living in the suburbs, divorced with 2.5 kids- just like everybody else, content in life."
Madeleine let out a choking sob. "I just want the best for you!" she wailed. "I never wanted for you to be a freak show!"
"You really are stupid," Joel said coldly, releasing her arms and stepping back. "I pity you. You think that the only purpose in life is to fulfill everyone else's expectations. I fulfill only mine and Wednesday's expectations. I don't care what you think, even if it's about me. Your friends don't love you. They only love your guestroom suite. The best of us can find happiness in misery," Joel said as he wrapped an arm around Wednesday. "And it's that much sweeter."
Joel looked about to continue on as the woman who used to be his mother sobbed openly and the man who used to be his father looked on in dismay. Wednesday touched his arm gently and said in a low voice, "I'll show them out. You go upstairs." Her husband looked about to protest, but then his shoulders drooped and he nodded silently.
As her husband left the room Wednesday gestured sharply to Simon and Madeleine Glicker. "You should get off the sofa before it gets hungry," she said and gave a malevolent smile when the couch rumbled. As Madeleine stood quickly the back of her skirt ripped, the hem stuck in the seam of the couch. "How nice," Wednesday said. "I'm sure the sofa says thank you for the snack. Now let me show you to the door."
Wednesday walked so purposefully that the three were in front of the heavy wooden door in less than a minute. The older couple was wheezing for breath when Wednesday whirled around to face them.
"Now, let me be very clear. I never want to see you on any Addams property every again. My husband has made his wishes very clear to me, and I agree. So if you ever do brighten my doorway, you'll be causing me problems."
Her eyes narrowed dangerously. "And God made me a cannibal to fix problems like you."
As Simon scrambled to open the door and he and his wife ran out across the lawn, Wednesday was giving their retreating backs a full-blown one-hundred-watt smile. "The taste is so sweet that I can hardly speak, but practice makes perfect!" she called after them right before she slammed the door shut.
Joel was resting his head in hands when she entered their bedroom, unconsciously mimicking Simon Glicker's earlier pose. Wednesday walked over to him and raised his face so his eyes would meet hers.
"I love you, mon cher, but you really need to remember what I say. The last time we saw them, I told you quite emphatically that I did not care what they said or thought," she said softly.
Joel groaned. "I know- I certainly remember. But it's like I'm paralyzed by their same old antics. It's always back and forth with those spastic people. And when I try to stay silent, it's like I'm dying inside, you know?"
Wednesday raised an eyebrow playfully. "I know the feeling, but it's disturbing that your parents cause you to feel that way."
Joel stared at her for a few seconds before his eyes widened in disgust. "You-you" he sputtered, pointing at his wife. "Oui," she said, smirking. "Me."
Joel's indignant expression melted into something else. "Wednesday," he breathed. "Te amo- especialmente cuando tú hablas francés…"
Wednesday gave a small, sincere smile. "Je t'aime aussi," she replied, and was not surprised when Joel pulled her to him and stood as if to sweep her into his arms.
But before he could take a step, Wednesday asked a question. "I am a bit confused about one of the facts you used to berate the providers of your chromosomes."
Joel raised both of his eyebrows. "And which would that be?" he asked curiously as he decided to sweep her up into his arms anyway and travel toward the bed.
"The part about how I'm obviously not pregnant now," Wednesday said, stone-faced. "How do you figure that?"
Joel reached the side of the bed and set her down. "Well, you know," he muttered, flustered. "You're not…round?" he half said, half asked as he gestured vaguely toward her body. Wednesday raised a brow again.
"And just because I wasn't pregnant then means I couldn't be pregnant now?" she asked curiously. Joel nodded distractedly as he tugged one of the pins holding her braids to her head.
"I guess Dr. Mbongo was wrong, then," Wednesday mock-sighed, false disappointment lacing her voice. Joel stilled immediately.
"What?" he demanded, grabbing her by the shoulders and looking in her eyes.
"Oh, yes," Wednesday continued airily. "I feel so sorry for the poor doctor; all those years of study flushed down the sewer pipe because apparently I am not pregnant, after all. And he was so sure this afternoon…"
Joel sat down heavily next to her. "I thought you went to see some family," he said dazedly. Wednesday patted his hand consolingly. "Did I say that? Oh, well. Dr. Mbongo had been our family doctor for so long it seems that he's a part of it. Actually, I think he is a very distant cousin," she said.
Joel turned and looked at her face. "You…you really are…?" he asked quietly. Wednesday met his gaze frankly. "Yes," she said simply. "Now what are you going to do about it?" she asked.
Joel slowly began to grin and suddenly pushed her shoulders down to the bedding.
"Everything," he breathed just before he captured her lips with his own.
A/N: Yay! More writing-ness! So…yeah, French is not my strong suit. I knew how to write/say "yes" in French, but I googled how to say "I love you, too," so if it's inaccurate, whatever. The Spanish, though, should be fine- I'm in my third year of it and I should know enough to get through a simple sentence without being stupid.
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