A/N: My MP3-player threw me a curveball that inspired this. It wouldn't let me go, so I typed this out in one session. Any mistakes are mine. Anything that doesn't seem to make sense, also my fault, though I recommend reading the entire thing before deciding what does and doesn't make sense. Please do R&R.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything in this fic.
Dinner at the Addams household was rarely a quiet affair and today was no exception. Wednesday's husband Lucas was chatting animatedly to Pugsley about something or other while attempting to spear an especially lively bit of Mama's latest concoction, with the girl watching them in quiet approval. Their relationship might have started off a tad rocky, but Lucas had managed to fit in surprisingly well without assimilating completely. Gomez and Fester were arguing over a new addition to the model train track, or rather the kind of explosives it should feature.
Morticia, for her part, sat silently in the midst of it all, not quite managing to pay attention and glancing to the door every now and again. Pubert being late had become something of a regular occurrence, but that was hardly an excuse for the rest of the family to not even set his place at the table anymore. He was after all a young kid, eager to explore and understandably less than willing to spend all his time among the adults and wannabe-adults when there were adventures to be had. His mother was the exception, though. He was always willing to clear some time for Morticia, even if for some reason it seemed to make his relationship with his father rather frosty.
It was rather strange, really. Honestly a bit childish on Gomez' part, in Morticia's opinion. He seemed to dislike the amount of attention his wife bestowed upon their youngest. Not too surprising, really, he enjoyed having her to himself and Pubert's presence meant he had to share her for a bit longer, but the boy was his son!
Boy, was he Gomez' son, especially in appearance. That handsome face was the spitting image of his father's, right down to the mustache that was the envy of every other twelve year old. Morticia always had to insist the boy got enough moonlight to keep the Castilian blood at bay and keep his skin a healthy ashen color that truly brought out his eyes, the one thing about Pubert's appearance that was truly Morticia's, the blue standing out in his otherwise dark features. His character, however, was far more like his mother's. Perhaps that was why she overindulged him sometimes, even if it would make her husband's resentment grow. Gomez would just have to get over it, they were parents after all.
"Tish?" Gomez' voice broke through and Morticia looked up to see everyone looking back at her with either concern or puzzlement.
"I'm sorry, Bubala, I seem to have drifted off." She offered her husband an apologetic smile. "You were saying?"
"Your dinner is escaping, Mother," Wednesday supplied in her careful monotone, nodding towards the door.
"Oh!" Knife in hand, Morticia glided over to the door to hunt down the escaping main course. She cornered it by the doorpost and stabbed it right in front of a pair of well-polished black shoes, the graveyard soil clinging to the sides betrayed that the owner of said shoes hadn't been entirely careful with them.
"Good evening, Mother," Pubert said as Morticia straightened up, drawing a smile from his mother as he stood slightly on tiptoes to kiss her cheek before he put his cigar back into his mouth. Not even a puff later, though, he took it back out and gestured into the dining room. "I'd better go... you know how he hates having me around."
Before Morticia had a chance to object the quick teenager had already sped off. Perhaps understandably, for when she turned Morticia found Gomez looking at her with a decidedly dark expression. Not the good kind of dark. It was probably just some strange phase of father/son rivalry, but it hurt nonetheless. She made a point of shooting her husband a disapproving look as she replaced her food on her plate, but it was only met with confusion. How like him, to feign innocence at a moment like this. She really ought to have a talk with him soon, but now she had to tend to her motherly duties and reassure Pubert.
"Please excuse me," was all she offered before sweeping out of the dining room to look for her youngest son. Even as she left she could hear Gomez force a laugh at what was probably some quip from either Pugsley or Fester, apparently intent on having a conflict-free, if incomplete, family dinner.
Pubert wasn't hard to find, not for her. They were so alike in so many ways, it made sense for him to hide out in the conservatory and that's where she found him, smoking his cigar while watching Cleopatra snap at a fly. Morticia came up silently behind her son, letting her hands fall onto his shoulders, softly squeezing the leather of his jacket. Far from startled the youngest Addams brought his free hand up to caress hers for a moment.
"Your father doesn't hate you, Pubert." Morticia knew her son, getting straight to the point was usually the best option.
"He does," the teen said dejectedly, stumping out his cigar before turning around to face his mother. "He thinks I'm stealing you from him and he hates me for it."
Morticia shook her head and drew the boy into an embrace. Pubert might be keen on melodrama as only a young teenager could be, but the way he allowed himself to be held showed he did indeed need her support. "Now, Pubert... I'm sure things are not quite as Oedipal as that," she chided gently, drawing something of a laugh from her son.
"I would, Mother. If you'd want me to. I'd take you away. From him, from all of them. Then it'd be just you and me." Well, he'd certainly inherited her flair for the dark. Morticia drew back a little to smile at the boy, deciding to humor him for now. Gomez' current behavior meant Pubert already went without parental understanding too often, so now it was up to her to provide it and it would be untrue to claim that she didn't enjoy doing so.
"Where would you take me then, if I went with you?" she asked softly, genuinely curious as to what her son had thought up. It certainly seemed to spark some passion in Pubert, his blue eyes lighting up as he pulled away from her, although he kept a firm grip on one hand. He placed one foot on the edge of a flowerpot and looked out into a non-existent distance like an explorer on a grand ship, looking out at new land.
"I'd take you to a place of endless night, where every day is filled with thunderstorms and, just so we don't get bored, the occasional hurricane. There we could travel and see every major disaster! You and me, in scorching heat witnessing famine one day, experiencing a tsunami the next! We'd be free! Wouldn't that be just perfect?" He looked at her with a childlike eagerness, an expression Morticia knew well from his father, but that was somehow more endearing in her son.
"That does sound lovely, dear." She patted the hand still holding hers. If only such a place would truly exist she certainly wouldn't mind living there. It wasn't the first time they'd talked like this and Pubert always managed to paint such a vivid picture of it that when she looked into his eyes she could almost believe it was truly there, just waiting for her to go there with him.
"So you'll come away with me?" He smiled at her, but his voice held a begging note. Life could be so wonderfully dark in youth, so all or nothing... she missed those days.
"Not tonight," she said gently, not wanting to hurt her son now that he seemed so lively. "The others will be looking for us soon anyway," she added when he began to deflate a little.
"You're right," Pubert said softly. "They wouldn't let us go. Let's do it tomorrow. They'll be off to that medieval fair anyway, they can't stop us from going if they're not here. Please, Mother? Come with me tomorrow?"
"Cara? Are you in here?" Morticia could see the hurt flickering across Pubert's face as his father's voice interrupted them, asking only for her.
"Tomorrow?" her youngest repeated. He seemed so fragile. He needed her. She nodded and smiled as his eyes lit up again. "Go, I'll see you tomorrow," he whispered, kissing her cheek again before she turned to find Gomez.
"Ah, there you are Querida! Come, come to bed..."
It was surprisingly easy to convince the others that she didn't want to come to the fair the next day. Apparently her excuse of requiring a bit more rest and the fair being altogether too outdoorsy for her went down well, probably better than the reality would have. Morticia thought a little white lie would be a lot better than feeding into Gomez' silly little jealousy. He hadn't even bothered to invite his youngest son, not that the teen had given his father much of a chance to do so, with the way he avoided him, staying out or elsewhere at all hours. Well, for now it wouldn't matter. Some solid hours of attention should at least bring Pubert around and once he was willing to talk to his father all she'd have to do was get Gomez' cooperation, which had never been difficult for her to attain.
"Are you sure you'll be okay on your own, Mrs. Addams?" Lucas asked as he accepted a basket of scorpion cookies and other assorted goodies for the road.
"I'll be fine, Lucas. Between you and me, I'm planning to go with Pubert, giving him some much-needed attention. He's at that age... well, you've seen it." She smiled conspiringly at the young man. "Now, you go and have fun, we'll be fine."
She waved at them as Lurch manhandled the car into gear and drove off before going back inside to look for her youngest.
"I still don't think it's a good idea to leave Mother like this," Wednesday said after a while, immediately silencing any other conversations in the car more effectively than a gunshot could have.
"Nonsense," Gomez replied, shaking his head. "Your mother is fine, a day to herself will do her good."
"But leaving her at home all alone while we're out having fun?" Pugsley piped up in support of his sister.
"Oh, don't worry, she's not alone," Lucas said reassuringly, happy to be able to add something novel and positive to a conversation that had felt strangely uncomfortable. What he hadn't expected was every head in the car to turn to him in utter confusion.
"What do you mean, not alone?" Gomez asked. "Even Thing is with us." The hand in question gave a little wave.
"She told me she'd go with someone today... Pubert?"
Whatever reaction he'd thought he might get, Lucas hadn't expected this one. Lurch slammed down on the brake and pulled the car into a total 180 before speeding back faster than Lucas had thought this old car capable of even as Wednesday began one of her trademark interrogations as the rest of the family sat in stunned silence.
"Why didn't you tell us that before? You're not joking, are you? Don't you even dare joke about this, Lucas!" his wife insisted, fixing him with a look stern enough to physically make him shake.
"I'm not joking! Why, who's Pubert?" the frightened man asked, obviously freaked out by this intense and unexpected reaction.
"Pubert is... was our brother. He's been dead for a long time. Really dead."
A/N: Obviously I couldn't say this before, since it'd give away too much, but my music switched from Morticia singing "Death is Just Around the Corner" from the Addams Family musical to "I'm Alive" from Next to Normal. That combined with Pubert's mysterious fate gave me this idea.