She's in one of her business classes when it happens.
The girl sitting next to her -- or more accurately, two seats over in the lecture hall, because no one ever sits next to Wednesday -- leans over and asks, "Hey, do you know My Chemical Romance?"
Wednesday just stares and tamps down on the urge to say full of false brightness, "Yes, from the t-shirts you wear every day!" They appear to be some sort of band, and despite their intriguing name, Wednesday has never paid much attention to the music her classmates seem to prefer. Wednesday likes to believe that there's less bloodshed that way. Instead, she noncommittally stammers an "Um, maybe?" and waits to see where this is going.
"Because you really, really look like you're related to Gerard Way." The girl -- kohl-rimmed eyes and hair as dark as Wednesday's (but with tell-tale blonde roots) -- Harmony, seems emphatic.
Wednesday has learned from one too many family reunions that sometimes it's best to placate the insane, and Harmony thankfully doesn't notice the facial tic. "Um, that's nice."
"Yeah," Harmony breathes, a dreamy look on her face. "He's gorgeous."
And apparently looks a lot like Wednesday. Huh.
Wednesday is blessedly grateful that after that, their professor finally decides to stop flirting with his teaching assistant and starts class.
Being an Addams does not preclude one from indulging in technology. Yes, her father and uncle tear around the countryside in Gomez's vintage Aston Martin (complete with James Bond style ejection seat, though this one really is powered by a bomb), and Wednesday and her brothers were always picked up by Lurch in the family Duesenberg, but as Wednesday has found since entering college, Google is your friend.
She types in 'My Chemical Romance' and spends the next hour and a half going from page to page, site to site researching her long lost cousin and his apparently highly successful band.
Of course he's an Addams -- not of the main line, but Wednesday clearly remembers Gerard and his younger brother Mikey at reunions and weddings and executions throughout most of her childhood. Gerard was always nice to talk to; they even had a very nice, if somewhat awkward chat at Fester's wedding to Debbie.
"Isn't that your boyfriend?" Gerard asked, pointing to where Morticia was leading Joel inside the house.
"Maybe. If he survives."
Gerard just looked at her and smiled, a little lopsided and a lot unsure. Wednesday understood, and patted him on the shoulder lamely. He was a second cousin, and of the New Jersey branch of the family. Her mother had always said they were a little strange -- something about having swans on the dining table.
But Morticia and her cryptic smile emerged with Joel a few minutes later.
"Not enough time for bodily harm."
"Pity," Wednesday confirmed, eyes narrowing. "Possibly mental torture?" Not like she and Joel hadn't had enough of that all summer.
"Hey, where'd Mikey go?"
"He's looking at the gravestones." She nods to their left, where Mikey was slowly making his way through the rows of stones.
"Look, Gee, they're all family!"
The look of fondness on Gerard's face warmed Wednesday's heart. She hated that.
But looking through more recent photographs, Wednesday can clearly see that Gerard is still looking after his younger brother. Even while groping him.
Yes, definitely Addams men.
She emails the picture to her mother who is also appreciative of certain current technologies. Namely, internet shopping. Personally, Wednesday thinks that Morticia has formed a crush upon the UPS man and his little shorts.
Morticia calls later that evening.
"Yes, those are your cousins. Look at what nice boys they've grown up to be." If it had been anyone else besides Morticia Addams, it would've sounded like a compliment. From her mother, it was just laced with a certain amount of pride and confusion.
"Mikey and Gerard, such interesting names -- then again, that side of your father's family has always been a little different. But I do like Gerard's sense of the theatrical! You must tell him that when you see him."
"Oh, yes, I've already arranged it all. Dementia knows someone who knows someone, and of course we're family, and so we arranged for a ticket to one of their concerts and a backstage pass!"
Wednesday blinks, tries to come up with something to say in the face of her mother's outpouring of glee? Wednesday's very nearly close to whining when she's finally able to speak. "But why?!"
"Cousin Aphasia's annual party, of course! The whole family will be there, and I need you to hand deliver the invitations. Remember, family first!"
Resisting the urge to groan, Wednesday asks, "Who are you, and what have you done with my mother?"
Morticia has been talking for years about never having enough time, now Wednesday wonders if the dark forces and hellish crusades her mother is always pining after is really code for tea parties and hat shopping.
But Wednesday had enjoyed the concert, and though the entire room had been filled with people that looked very much like Harmony, she'd felt almost accepted. It was nice. She's trying very hard not to smile.
She's escorted through the winding hallways quickly, and then suddenly a door opens and she's announced. "Hey, Gerard, you've got family!" A large hand lands on her back and she's thrust into a room with five very sweaty men.
Oh yes, her mother definitely should have done this herself.
Gerard is the first to turn around and looks curiously at her. She knows the feeling, it's a little strange to look at one's self outside of a mirror.
She can't help it. Wednesday raises a hand in a tentative wave. "Hi." She is so not prepared for the hug and lift and twirling that follows, first from Gerard, and then as soon as she's on her feet again, from Mikey.
"Hey, I didn't know you guys had a sister," one of the guys -- Bob, she thinks -- asks.
"She's our cousin, Wednesday Addams."
"We haven't seen you since Fester and Dementia's wedding!"
Her first good look at Mikey reveals that the glasses and unfortunate hair are gone, and now with the eyes and kohl and new hair, he really does look like an Addams. Gomez and Morticia would be so happy.
"I know. The family lost touch, but Cousin Aphasia is having her annual gathering and I've been ordered to invite you."
The short one, Frank, snorts at that. Wednesday, not affronted, merely wishes she had done the same and had never gotten in this mess in the first place. Though it is nice to see her cousins again.
Gerard merely nods and smiles that same crooked smile from years before. She can feel her heart starting to warm. Dammit, how does he do that?
"Do we need dates?"
"Uh, no --"
"Because I was going to ask if you were seeing anyone, and if not, then --" Gerard swings an arm out to the room where the rest of the band are sitting, watching the family exchange intently.
And that's when the one with the hair, the one with the thighs (Wednesday, as much as she might hate to admit it, is her mother's daughter), steps forward to say hello. And shake her hand.
"My father would be offended that you didn't kiss my hand --"
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"-- But I don't mind. At all."
Gerard makes her heart melt, Mikey makes her feel protective and Ray makes her nervous. Wednesday is in serious trouble.
"I'd like to take you to the party, if that's all right. Gee's family is always fun."
"You haven't met this side, yet," Mikey tells him, clapping a hand over his shoulder.
"Still. Hey, are you okay?"
Gerard, who has stepped back to allow Ray and Wednesday something approaching a moment, starts to laugh. "Yeah, she's fine. She's just trying to smile. She's just not used to it."
Indeed, the last time she smiled may have been when Amanda was tied to the stake and Camp Chippewa was in flames. Ah, good memories.
"We'll just have to work on that." Ray has no problems smiling, or in fact, beaming.
Yes, very much in trouble.