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            As time went by Wednesday Addams and Steve Harrington became closer, oddly because of the fact that Wednesday was insistent on helping Steve overcome his fear. Though it honestly did not take much convincing on Steve’s part. He trusts Wednesday, more so than he has trusted anyone else. Even his two closest friends, Robin Buckley and Dustin Henderson.

            So, Wednesday, having conditioned Steve to see her torture devices as something other than torture devices, moved on to the next step with Steve’s permission. She knew it best to keep it slow, so that was what they did. It started, quite simply (and I tell you this for it would rather bore you to sit there and read pages and pages of nothing but trial and error), with Wednesday tying Steve up. Of course, she first taught Steve how to escape the bonds in case it became too much. Not to mention, she always kept the bonds lose and the knots simple so he could escape himself. In order to keep Steve from panic attacks, Wednesday learned that soft words and encouraging phrases got Steve to go longer.

            As time went on, Wednesday could tie the rope tighter, and she could leave him bound to the chair for longer, but Steve couldn’t last if she left the room for more than three minutes.

            Wednesday had nothing but patience.

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            “Not sure why you keep doing this Wen,” Steve mumbled as Wednesday carefully undid the knots. “I’m not exactly getting better.”

            Wednesday hated this part the most. She carefully reached up and cupped his face, rubbing his cheeks with her thumbs to prompt the tears to come a bit sooner. After a moment, they do, and Steve pitched forward against the remaining bonds.

            “You’re doing just fine,” Wednesday promised. And Wednesday never lied, never broke a promise. “You lasted so much longer, Steve. You’re not just going to overcome this fear after five months. You were hurt, and that would have broken a lesser man.”

            Steve continued to sob, and once Wednesday had him free, she held him tight. Her mother and father used to hug her. Good touches that weren’t related to torture, and something Steve had been deprived of his entire life. It pained Wednesday to realize that Steve had never had a good touch like this before.

            Even his ex-girlfriend had never loved him, and her touch was now tainted.

            “Come,” Wednesday probed, lifting Steve to his feet as his sobs died down. “You need food in your system before you sleep. And water.”

            Steve let her tug him to the kitchen where she plopped him down in a chair with a glass of water. He knew better than to ignore the drink because Homer would watch and make sure he drank every last drop. If he left too much water in the cup, Homer would squeak, and Wednesday would sit him back down till he finished.

            But Steve had learned.

            It wasn’t the best dinner time meal, but eggs were about the only thing Wednesday could really make. Well, she could make many things, but not anything Steve was used too. Besides, eggs were also just about the only thing Steve could stomach after their sessions.

            “What do warm eggs taste like?” Wednesday asked him as he continued to eat slowly.

            Steve turned to her, eyes wide.

            Wednesday, the first time she had asked an odd question like that, thought the look Steve gave her was one of pity. But as she grew to know Steve over the last five months, she had come to learn that the look was because he was surprised she was interested.

            “Uh, well, I don’t know how to explain it,” he muttered, voice a little scratchy, but relatively okay because of the water. “Um, well, here. I guess you should just try it.”

            He held out the fork, warm eggs sitting on the tips. Wednesday sat forward and closed her mouth around the eggs, letting the warmth hit her tongue. It was…

            It was…

            Disgusting!

            Like, the kind of disgusting Wednesday normally ate! The same kind of disgusting that she knew Steve hated! How on Earth was he eating this?

            “I guess it’s an acquired taste,” Steve chuckled, and it took Wednesday a moment to realize she had made a look of disgust. “Not many people like eggs plain, but I’ve preferred them this way. No cheese or ketchup for me.”

            Wednesday furrowed her brow at that.

            That was something else about Steve Harrington. He had this way of pulling reactions from her. Her normal stoic looks were nothing compared to the ease personality of Steve Harrington.

            “But there are other ways to cook eggs too,” Steve shrugged, now pushing his eggs around. “Fry them, boil them… I could make some for you if you like.”

            That weird swell was back again as she watched Steve smile and look away.

            “Yes, I’d like that,” Wednesday stated. “Do it for me sometime?”

            “For you, Wednesday?” Steve grinned at her. “I’d do anything.”

            Wednesday felt fear at the sentence. A fear so deep that she had to fight to keep her expression stoic. No one had ever said something like that to her, and the fact that she actually had Steve’s life basically in her hand’s scared her more than bright colors of the world.

            She could tell Steve to drink poison and he’d do it.

            “Then I promise I will never make you do something to cause yourself harm unless it is the only way to save you.”

            This promise was delivered with a gentle kiss to Steve’s forehead, and then she left for bed.

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            As the narrator of this story, I find it in my best interest to inform you that I do not agree with Steve’s opinion on eggs…

            They do in fact need cheese in order to taste good.

            Please enjoy the rest of this story.

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            Steve was pacing around the store, and Robin was just sort of watching. Keith was watching too, eating his usual bag of Cheetos that Steve often bought for him now-a-days. A sort of truce between them. The store was basically empty as a storm raged outside, but they knew from experience that some stragglers liked to wander through the storm, which is why the three were present. And the storm outside was pretty bad, the crack of thunder sounding more like cannon fire. It made Robin and Steve a bit uneasy. But that’s not the point here. The point is that Steve was pacing, and neither could figure out why.

            “Dude, you’ll wear a hole in the floor,” Keith grumbled out.

            “Okay, I’m actually with Keith on this one,” Robin huffed out, much to Keith’s protest. “Would you stop pacing and just tell me what’s wrong?”

            Steve did not stop pacing. However, “I have a crush on Wednesday!”

            Robin and Keith just sort of exchanged a look at that.

            “You’re roommate?” Keith questioned.

            “Yes, yes, my roommate,” Steve kept pacing. “I have a crush on my roommate, Wednesday Addams.”

            “What’s wrong with that?” Robin questioned, eyeing Steve a bit quizzically. “What, you don’t want to like her?”

            “No,” Steve finally stopped pacing and turned to look at the two. “No. It’s just-its-well, Wednesday never actually dated before, and she’s never really had a crush either. She’s also got this amazing idea of what love is and should be, and I’m not even remotely qualified to be able to be her boyfriend. And that’s if she even feels the same way. Which she probably doesn’t. I mean, we’re practically complete opposites. And I know I should move out so I don’t end up getting hurt, but Wednesday great, and I don’t know if I could survive without her in my life now that I know what life is like with her. And I don’t think I could bear to avoid her, you know? It would hurt too much, but so would getting rejected. And I-”

            Robin shoved a Cheeto in Steve’s mouth

            “You really need to calm down,” Robin instructed, putting a hand up to silence him. “Now, take a deep breath, and relax. Alright? We’ll figure something out.”

            A loud crack of thunder was quickly followed by the door opening, making everyone jump. Unlike Robin and Keith’s following reaction (pure shock and horror), Steve was rather relaxed as he noticed the person.

            “Hey, Wednesday,” Steve grinned at her, calm and lazy. “Good to see you out.”

            “The weather was rather nice,” Wednesday offered, her expression as stoic as always. “Thought I’d brave it.”

            Steve gave a nod. “Yeah, fraid I can’t let you drip on the floor though, company policy and all.”

            Wednesday nodded, accepting a towel from Steve. She normally hated the feeling of soft towels, but Steve had grabbed one of her towels that morning on his way out. The scratchy material was welcome.

            Robin, bless her, managed to get ahold of herself.

            “Your hair must be rather heavy like this,” Robin hummed. “Can I help take it out of your braids?”

            “Yes,” Wednesday agreed.

            Steve was going to kill Robin. Wednesday always preferred to keep her hair braided, no matter what. Steve had never once seen her with her hair down. Until now. And she was absolutely stunning.

            “Oh, Steve,” Wednesday turned to him. “I wanted to let you know that my Uncle Fester is coming for a visit.”

            Steve had to shake himself to process that. “Oh! You’re dad’s brother. Cool!”

            Wednesday’s expression softened a bit. Not quite a smile, but happiness danced in her eyes.

            “Did you want a movie?” Robin asked as Wednesday and Steve stood there, staring just a bit too long.

            “No,” Wednesday shook her head. “Just wanted to see a friend. But I have a few things to do now. Bye.”

            “Don’t get blown too far away,” Steve teased as she stepped out into the storm.

            And then she was gone.

            “Psycho,” Keith muttered under his breath, a little too loud.

            “You’re not wrong,” Steve admitted with a calm smile. “So?”

            The last part was directed towards Robin, who was still eyeing the door.

            “You’ve got it bad,” Robin smirked at him. “You’ve got it real bad.”

            “Shut up,” Steve hissed, much to Robin’s laughter. “Just shut up.”

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            “Are you sure?” Wednesday asked, rather stunned by Steve’s request.

            “Yes,” he was already offering his wrists. “Just do it. Three hours. Tied up. Leaving me alone.”

            Wednesday didn’t like it. She really didn’t like it. This was too close to Steve basically punishing himself for something he did wrong. However, there wasn’t nothing she could do. So with Steve’s pleading gaze, she tied him to the chair. And stepped out.

            Standing outside the door, her breathing caught as she noticed that Steve’s breathing had become erratic. And that he was starting to sob. She desperately reached for the door handle, but Homer scampering on her shoulder stopped her. Homer loved Steve, cared about him like Wednesday did. Steve liked to talk to Homer like Wednesday did too. The little spider knew just about all their secrets.

            “I’m okay,” Steve’s pained voice drifted through the door. “I’m okay. Wednesday would never hurt me. Not like the Russians. She protects me. She wouldn’t hurt me like my family. Not like Jonathan, Nancy, and Billy. I’m fine. I’m safe. Wednesday would never hurt me.”

            Uncle Fester and Cousin Itt had said that when recovering from abuse, it was best to have something good to hold onto. Something to ground them. Wednesday never thought she would be that for anyone, never really thought it would be possible. She was too stoic, too violent, even for her family sometimes. And yet, here was Steve whispering her name as if just that could keep him safe. She could have completely left the house for all Steve knew, and just her name seemed to calm his breathing.

            “Wednesday cares, she’d keep me safe. I don’t need to be afraid. This isn’t for pain. She’s helping. Wednesday is helping. She’s saving me from my nightmares.”

            That odd feeling was back, the one that caused the swell in her chest that didn’t feel unpleasant. I fact, now that Wednesday thought about it, the feeling made her giddy. A happiness she had never felt before. There was a feeling like it, but…

            Oh.

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            “Falling In Love”, what a silly phrase. How can you fall in love? The problem with love is that many people believe it to be an emotion. But if it were an emotion, then why do so many people “Fall Out Of Love”. The problem with “Falling In Love” is that people don’t quite understand it. In order for this story to make sense, in order for two opposites to fall for each other, first love must be explained.

            Allow me to do so.

            When one “Falls In Love,” that is normally considered a crush. A crush is basically when a person looks at another person and realizes, “Wow, they look beautiful/handsome”. If the first thought a person has when they see another person is “Wow, I would so do them,” that is not love. That is lust.  Please get your facts straight.

            The practice of falling in love is a simple crush. This then leads to dating, Where two people get to know each other. I emphasize this part because in order to understand love, you must first understand that this aspect is important. There is a reason that most marital practices asked that a person “COURT” another before they decided to actually marry. And it is also because of this practice that arranged marriages, though unethical in today’s society, actually worked in the past. Because they understood this practice.

            (Isn’t it odd that English is the only language that only has one word for love?)

            Now, once dating has commenced it then becomes the job of both parties to learn more about the other. Once you have learned more about the other, the two parties then continue to press people out of their comfort zone, encourage each other, and bond as friends. This could take years, or maybe just seconds, but it is quite necessary between the two parties.

            To fully “Fall In Love” one must look at the opposite person and conclude that through every fight, through every melt down, through every laugh, through every tear, and through every moment of their life, they want the other person there. It is important to conclude that no matter what happens, the opposite party will always be with the other. Once both sides have come to the realization that this will happen, that is what often leads to marriage.

            To “Fall In Love” is not that weird swell that Wednesday felt in her chest. Wednesday began to “Fall In Love” when she realized that she cared about Steve so much that she would throw her own life away to be with him. To “Fall In Love” was not Steve realizing that Wednesday looked cute when she ate off his fork. Steve began to “Fall In Love” when he realized that Wednesday would never hurt him intentionally, and that he hoped to treat her the same way.

            It’s funny how people forget what love truly is, and maybe that is why people can never see past the weird ways of The Addams Family. But despite their oddity, they know love better than anyone alive. Because they live it out every day.

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            Steve was very confused, as was Wednesday.

            “So, wait, hold on,” Steve held up his hands as if to stop a something. “You have a Grandmama, but you have no idea who she’s related too?”

            Wednesday was busy looking at the picture and trying to match facial features to both of her parents. She wasn’t finding any connections at all.

            Steve let himself look back at the picture too, taking in the small polaroid photo of The Addams Family. Wednesday was two years younger in this photo, takin in 1984. Morticia was stunning, absolutely beautiful, but she held a rather striking resemblance to her father. Though Gomez, her father, also had a similar look to his daughter. Pugsley, her brother, looked more like Gomez except for his red-blonde hair. Uncle Fester would probably look more like his brother if it wasn’t for the dark bags, make-up, and bald head, but he looked like a fun guy. Cousin Itt was harrier than Steve thought, but he was pleased to know he hadn’t been too off with his guess. Lurch, their butler, was basically Frankenstein, much to Steve’s shock and surprise. And Thing was definitely interesting.

            Grandmama was the only person that was actually out of place.

            “That’s concerning,” Wednesday turned to Steve. “Very concerning.”

            Steve was once again tied to the chair, and Wednesday had gotten the picture in the mail, which was why she was showing him the photo. She wanted him to be prepared when her Uncle Fester showed up.

            “I wonder if my parents know,” Wednesday hummed a bit, leaning her head on Steve’s shoulder. “I mean, I suppose they do.”

            If he hadn’t been tied up, Steve would have tossed his arm around her shoulder and held her close as she puzzled over this odd mystery. As it was, Steve just let her lean against him.

            “That’s not very comforting,” Steve told her with a cheeky grin.

            She gave him a light shove and then left the room, leaving Steve alone with Homer, who was snoring away peacefully. Steve didn’t need to sit long as Wednesday quickly re-entered the room and began to untie Steve.

            “She’s been my Grandmama for as long as I can remember,” Wednesday stated as she finished with Steve’s bonds and began to massage feeling back into his body. It was moments like this that Steve loved and hated the most. “Whether she is actually related to us doesn’t matter anymore. She’s family.”

            “I don’t doubt it,” Steve smiled at her as he stood and stretched. “I’ll see you in a few hours, okay?”

            Wednesday nodded back and Steve was out the door on his way to see the kids and Robin.

            “Why are you so late?” Dustin accused as Steve entered the Henderson house.

            “I was busy,” Steve ruffled Dustin’s hair through his hat. “I’ve told you guys I wasn’t going to be on time. Wednesday needed to talk to me, and she’s been out all morning. I slept in, so I had to wait for her.”

            Dustin pouted, sliding back a bit. “I don’t want us to lose touch,” he grumbled bitterly. “Not over some girl you have a crush on. I don’t want to be replaced.”

            “Dustin, buddy,” Steve frowned and pulled the kid close. “Wednesday isn’t replacing you, buddy. You’re my best friend, we went up against monsters and Russians together. We just don’t see each other as often because I have work and you have school. Plus, I promised Wednesday I would have that talk with her before you asked me to hang out. Don’t dig to into it, okay?”

            Dustin nodded at him and hugged a little too tightly. Good thing Steve had been tied up several times, far tighter than Dustin was hugging. When Dustin decided hugging time was done (something that happened often since Steve was tortured by Russians), he dragged Steve into the living room where the others were bringing in the last of the snacks from the kitchen.

            “Hey Steve,” Robin grinned from where she was rewinding the tape. “How’s your crush?”

            Steve just sort of shrugged. “Still as psychotic as ever. But,” Steve stopped catching everyone’s attention. “I think she’s nervous. Which is weird because Wednesday is always so confident. You know? But it’s like she’s afraid of what I’ll think when I meet her Uncle Fester.”

            “Why would she be afraid of that?” Mike questioned him. “It’s not like you’re dating.”

            And, oh, right… Steve hadn’t told them about Wednesday’s tendencies yet. Or how exactly she was helping him with his fears. Well, he’d told Robin-

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            As your narrator, I will not be letting any of you see or read the part where Steve told Robin. It was too graphic for even me to put down, and Steve lives with Wednesday Addams. It did not go well, and it took Robin time to come around. Hence why Steve has not told the kids yet.

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            “Yeah, well, Wednesday has,” Steve bit his lip, glancing to Robin for support. Unfortunately, she still wasn’t entirely sure of Wednesday. “Wednesday has basically been my therapist. She’s been helping me get over my fear of being tortured again.”

            “Wait,” Dustin spun on Steve, jabbing him in the chest. “You told me you were already over that!”

            “No I didn’t,” Steve shook his head, raising his arms in surrender. “I didn’t not say that! I said I was fine!”

            “How is that any different!” Max demanded angrily.

            “Because when people say they’re fine they are never fine!”

            The room got impossibly silent at that, and Steve watched as each of the kids slumped a bit in their positions in the living room. Steve let himself sag too.

            “Wednesday is helping, really,” Steve promised them, watching as they all eyed him carefully. “She’s probably the best person to help me.”

            “What, she some sort of therapist?” Lucas questioned skeptically.

            Steve shifted from one foot to the other. “No, not quite. She just understands a lot about the aftereffects of torture.”

            Robin scoffed from behind him, and Steve glared at her.

            “How does she know that?” Dustin pressed, and of course it would be Dustin.

            “Ah, well, her family really likes using old medieval torture devices,” Steve shrugged a little too nonchalantly.

-----------------------------------------

            It too the duration of their movie time for Steve to properly explain Wednesday’s techniques and about her family. Then it took an extra hour for Steve to explain why he trusted Wednesday and how she was helping. But as you already know this information, I am saving you the trouble.

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            Wednesday Addams could confidently say that she had almost never been afraid in her entire life. Of course, there was that time when Uncle Fester decided to marry that weird lady named Debby. But that was in the past. She preferred not to think about that moment, so it remained forgotten. But right now, waiting for Uncle Fester to arrive while Steve made breakfast, Wednesday could honestly say she had never been more terrified in all her life.

            And then Uncle Fester kicked the door down. Literally.

            “Wednesday!” Uncle Fester beamed at her. “How is my beautiful and favorite niece? You look terrible as always!”

            “Hello, Uncle Fester,” Wednesday greeted casually.

            If he noticed anything off, he didn’t acknowledge it, and instead went to go greet Steve. Steve’s hand jolted back the moment Uncle Fester gripped his hand, and Wednesday was very much horrified at Steve’s suddenly pained expression. But then Steve was grinning and laughing as he checked Uncle Fester’s hand.

            “Gag gifts, really,” Steve laughed. “That’s great.”

            Wednesday was rather horrified when she saw the little buzzer that Uncle Fester had tricked out to actually hurt resting on her Uncle’s hand. What on Earth was she thinking? Steve could actually get hurt around her Uncle. He was too uncontrolled around him. She was an idiot.

            “I understand Wednesday’s been helping you out,” Uncle Fester was saying.

            Steve grinned and the two began to talk with Wednesday eyeing them closely. Uncle Fester, at some point, began teaching Steve about the different torture tools.

            “Ah, I see you are already familiar with The Rack and The Iron Maiden,” Uncle Fester grinned. “Allow me to show you this beauty, the Spanish Donkey. You make a person sit on it like a horse, attach some weights to their feet, and then watch them split in half.”

            Wednesday thought she was going to die.

            “Heretics Fork; attached to the neck with either end placed at the neck and the chest. Moving just a muscle means instant pain,” Uncle Fester kept going. This hanging cage is more humiliating than painful, but you get the picture. Pear of Anguish; place it in your mouth and make your jaw expand quite painfully. The Catherine Wheel, breaker of many bones, also known as the Wheel of Death and often seen at Renaissance fairs as a form of entertainment but without the pain. Though the axe juggling is quite fun. I watched a guy cut off his finger once.”

            Steve was grinning and laughing at each of Uncle Fester’s explanations, but Wednesday still thought she was going to die. She’d been trying to keep Steve away from the torture devices because she feared his reaction, but here was Uncle Fester, making Steve laugh at everything.

            “You got Wednesday to eat McDonalds?” Uncle Fester gaped as Steve talked about the last few months together.

            “She said she wanted to try!” Steve stated. “So we hit the fast food places around town and brought it home. She wouldn’t go inside, though.”

            “Bright colors are disgusting,” Wednesday scoffed, and there was an odd looking in Uncle Fester’s eyes.

            “Says the women who thought buying a pastel pink couch was a good idea,” Steve quickly accused, not seeing what Wednesday saw. “Honestly, I’d never seen something so hideous.”

            “Pastel,” Uncle Fester whipped his head towards her.

            “It was the only thing they had,” Wednesday huffed out, crossing her arms defensively. She certainly did not like how Uncle Fester grinned wider at her. “Steve was hurt and need comfort. So I got him comfort. Besides, he fixed it for me.”

            “Because I’m special,” Steve grinned at her, earning a shove from her.

            Perhaps this wasn’t so bad. Uncle Fester hadn’t done anything to scare Steve away yet, and Steve’s smile wasn’t as fake as when her Uncle had first walked in. Uncle Fester did have his faults, but he was a genius.

            “Oh yes!” Uncle Fester suddenly clapped, making Wednesday shrink back a bit. “I have some of Wednesday’s baby pictures to show you!”

            Wednesday wanted to go die in a hole more than she ever had before.

            After Uncle Fester had left and Steve had gone to do his shift that day, Wednesday had picked up the phone and dialed home.

            “This is the Addams family, Gomez speakin-”

            “If you or mother ever let Uncle Fester have my baby pictures again, I swear I will skin the entire family alive and leave your bodies hanging through Central Park, do I make myself clear?”

            “That bad?” Gomez asked, her father, always the more sympathetic and open minded. “If it makes you feel any better, we did tell Fester no.”

            “It doesn’t,” Wednesday quipped. “So it better not happen again.”

            “Alright, alright,” Gomez chuckled. “Ah, yes, Pugsley wants to say hello.”

            Wednesday was glad she pulled the phone away from her ear as a loud air horn went off on the other end. She felt suddenly bad for the person listening in (something Steve warned her about) as their ears had to be bleeding.

            “Hello Pugsley,” Wednesday greeted.

            “You’re a jerk, Wednesday,” Pugsley huffed on the other end. “You haven’t called, and the one time you did, mother left fuming. What did you do to make her so upset anyways?”

            “Ask me again when Uncle Fester and Cousin Itt tell you what abuse is, alright?” Wednesday prompted him gently. Always gently with her brother, unless she was torturing him. He could be more sensitive than the rest of her family sometimes. “I’ll tell you the whole story then. But I met some bad people and I had to save their son from them.”

            “Wow, really?” Pugsley gasped excitedly. “Does that make you a hero now?”

            Wednesday chuckled softly. “No, but he’s my roommate now. I’ve, er, well, to put it simply. My new roommate is afraid of torture. Uncle Fester and Cousin Itt have been trying to help me help him. Which is why I haven’t called.”

            “Oh,” Pugsley gasped. “How can anyone be afraid of torture?”

            “Learn about abuse first, and then I’ll share, okay?” Wednesday prompted again. “I promise. And an Addams never breaks a promise.”

            “I know,” Pugsley sighed. “I miss you, it’s not the same without you.”

            “I’ll come visit soon,” Wednesday promised. “Just give me more time to help my roommate. Okay?”

            “Yeah, okay,” Pugsley agreed. “Hey, will I get to meet him? Your roommate?”

            Wednesday chuckled at his enthusiasm. “One day. Let me help him first, then I’ll bring him to meet the family.”

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            This next little scene is a quick excerpt from the Addams Family home itself.

------------ A ------------

            “Darling, our lovely daughter called,” Gomez pranced into the room where Morticia was trying to sharpen the spikes of the iron maiden. “She did not appreciate those baby pictures.”

            Morticia groaned. “Of course Fester would take them. Let’s hope he didn’t scare the poor boy off. This is Wednesday’s first crush.”

            Thing, who had been helping Morticia, carefully patted the woman on the shoulder twice.

            “You’re right, Thing,” Morticia sighed. “If the boy were going to be scared off, he would have run away by now.”

            “I’m more worried about his mental state,” Gomez muttered, picking up one of Wednesday’s many letters. They’d kept them hidden from Pugsley, wanting to wait until Wednesday planned to bring Steve over before breaking the news to the youngest member of the family. “Listen to this, Morticia… ‘My dearest family, I am honestly concerned for Steve’s mental state. Today he cut his hand open with a simple kitchen knife. I was treating it, glad it did not need stitches, when he said something along the lines of how he remembered covering up his father’s ring cuts by saying he had tripped with scissors or knives. He said it with such fondness too. I can’t imagine why he would be fond of such pain delivered by hatred….’ Honestly, Morticia, what parent conditions their child this way.”

            “I don’t know, my love,” Morticia glided forward, pulling Gomez close. “But you do a lovely impression of our daughter.”

            “You think so?” Gomez waggled a brow.

            “Oh yes, I do love your impressions,” Morticia grinned. “Let’s wait for Cousin Itt to get here to discuss what to do, and you do more of your funny little impressions.”

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            And I promise you, the Addams family does talk about what to do with Steve Harrington and his family. With Wednesday trying to quell Steve’s fear, they had a bit more wiggle room to act. And Morticia was dead set on finding some way to humiliate the Harrington family if not do something more.

------------- S ------------

            “So, let me get this straight,” Steve found himself setting with Robin, Dustin, and Mike on one side of the table as Lucas and Max bracketed Erica across from Steve on the other side. Steve had just explained Wednesday Addams to Erica as she drank her milkshake, and her reaction was hard to gage. “You go to the Byers old house and meet this crazy lady about your age who owns various medieval torture devices. She takes care of you with her sentient pet spider and eventually decides to help you overcome your fear of torture. Meanwhile, you are helping her breach her comfort zone by showing her that some comforts are good, despite what people think. And somehow, along the way, you fell in love with her?”

            “Yeah, yeah, pretty much,” Steve nodded carefully, already tense and waiting for Erica to go off like Robin and the kids had.

            “Right,” Erica took another drink of her milkshake, much to Steve’s growing anxiety. “I wanna meet her. I wanna see if she knows the breathable water technique.”

            “What?” Lucas gaped at his sister as if she grew a second head. “You’re just okay with this?”

            “No,” Erica shook her head. “I never said that. Using torture to overcome torture is actually something generally frowned upon by most therapist. I would never let Steve go through that under my own care. However, I want you all to take a good look at Steve. A good, long look.”

            Steve squirmed uncomfortably in his seat as they all stared for a good five minutes.

            “What are we looking at?” Dustin questioned, still staring intently at Steve.

            “Ugh!” Erica huffed out. “I am surrounded by idiots.” She quickly hushed their protest. “He’s happier! Look at him! Those bags under his eyes are gone. His shoulders aren’t constantly tense. He’s not carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, and his back is straighter. Plus, he smiles more. He’s better than he’s been since 1983.”

            Looks of realization crossed the faces of everyone around him, and it made Steve shrink in on himself.

            “Normally, torture to get over a fear of torture would be frowned upon,” Erica elaborated. “And if it had been anyone but Wednesday Addams, I probably would have had more problems with this news. But as it is, Steve isn’t exactly someone to acknowledge he’s afraid, especially in front of others.”

            “I’m right here,” Steve muttered.

            “Shut up, I’m trying to support the one good thing you have in life,” Erica shot at him, earning more protests. “Now listen, Steve, you are the type of person who convinces everyone you are okay until even you believe it. You push everything to the back to the point that it weighs so heavily, one day, you were going to forget how to function. Wednesday saw this too and did something about it. I mean, honestly, for a guy who was a King in high school, you have the lowest self-esteem I have ever seen.”

            Before Steve could protest-

            “She’s right,” Robin winced suddenly, looking Steve over as if seeing him for the first time. “The only time you talk positively about yourself is when it concerns your hair or flirting. And even then… Steve, you asked the Head Manager to fire you because Keith did something he shouldn’t because of bullying that happened three years ago. You acted as though you deserved it.”

            “But I did deserve it,” Steve protested.

            “Shut up!” Robin snapped. “You didn’t deserve that, Steve. No one deserves that, no matter how big of a jerk you were in the past.”

            Steve was frowning now, studying the looks on everyone’s faces.

            “But that’s how I was always taught,” Steve explained slowly to them, willing for them to understand. “You do something rude or mean, you talk back or try to be better than others, you always get punishment. That’s just how life works.”

            There were six pairs of horrified eyes all staring at Steve now, and he wasn’t sure he liked it.

            Sometime later, Steve found himself back home, lost deep in thought. It just didn’t make sense. He’d always been taught-

            “Robin called,” Wednesday spoke from where she was sitting on the couch. “She told me about your conversation at the diner.”

            Steve shook his head, hanging up his coat on the odd coat rack that Wednesday owned. When he turned back to her, she was frowning at him, twiddling a knife between her fingers with expert skill.

            “Robin gave me the week off,” Steve told her carefully. She was waiting for him, something he was grateful for. “Wednesday,” he stopped biting his lip and looking away. But, no, he couldn’t back down now. “Wednesday, I want you to do it for the week. Please. Do it for the week. Help me understand. Please.”

            This, this he knew Wednesday could do.

            She stood up, gracefully as ever, and stepped before him, cupping his face and searching for something. She must have found it because she instantly sent him to the bathroom so she could get everything ready.

            It was going to be an interesting week to say the least, that they both new.

----------------- W ---------------

            The week, as it turned out, was necessary. The process was called conditioning, maybe even manipulation to some, but Wednesday and Homer had used the entire week Steve spent tied to the chair to try and break 19 years worth of his parents’ conditioning to him. Soft whispers, gentle praise, and calming encouragement had all been used.

            All trying to save Steve from his own mind.

            Now Steve was fast asleep on the couch, Wednesday carefully running a hand through his hair as slept, head pillowed in her lap. He wasn’t fixed yet, not by a long shot, but at least he now had the mind-set to question anything and everything negative thrown his direction.

            In that time, Wednesday had met Dustin Henderson, one of Steve’s kids.

            “You know, we were worried about you at first, and how you were helping Steve,” Dustin admitted softly as he handed over the thing of McDonalds fries first. “But you’ve helped him a lot, more than we ever could.”

            “You could have helped him too, can still help him,” Wednesday probed gently. “But you have your own fears and traumas. Taking a life is never easy.”

            Dustin suddenly tensed.

            “Steve already knows,” Wednesday assured him at his wide-eyed stare. “It’s why he’s trying to be there more. But Dustin, Steve showed me the file, and I can assure you that you were not the one to kill that man.”

            Dustin gaped, tears welling in his eyes.

            The man that Dustin had jabbed with the tazer had been ruled as a death by a the tazer. By the hands of Dustin Henderson. But Wednesday was an expert, and they were wrong. Stupid idiots pinning a murder on a child.

            “There was a needle prick on his neck,” Wednesday stated firmly, using her free hand to lift Dustin’s chin. “Hidden to any with an untrained eye. If you want me to prove it to you, the file is under Steve’s pillow.”

            Dustin raced to grab it, and Wednesday carefully showed the prick wound and explained how she knew the prick was fresh.

            He was already a dead man,” Wednesday explained. “Whether it was given before or after, the needle was killing him.”

            That she was sure of. He did not have the look of a man who was electrocuted. More of the look of one who had been poisoned.

            She now had a lap full of sleeping-like-the dead Steve Harrington and a sobbing Dustin Henderson. And somehow, it felt almost like home. Eventually, Dustin fell asleep, curled into her side and squished between the arm rest. Wednesday decided to eat the rest of her McDonalds over Steve’s face, well, more like his hair as he had curled into her stomach some time during Dustin’s sobs.

            That odd swell was back, and Wednesday found that she liked the feeling, a good pain.

            At some point, there was a knock on the door and Wednesday carefully positioned the boys on the couch so that they could all get there much needed rest. They both deserved it with the trauma they had been through. On her porch was a little girl, hair high on her head, and an attitude for miles.

            “Are you Wednesday Addams?” she asked.

            “Yes.”

            “Erica Sinclair,” the girl stated, seeming to know that Wednesday was not one to shake hands. “And I need your help with something.”

            Erica Sinclair rang a bell. Oh, wait. Yes, okay, this was one of Steve’s kids. The youngest of the group who had been there when Steve was tortured.

            “And how can I help you?” Wednesday quirked a brow.

            “I think we can both agree Steve’s parents are jerks,” Erica stated firmly. “Now, when they kicked Steve out, Steve thought his dad would just destroy everything, so he grabbed basic necessities and got out. Which was basically a comb and three outfits. As you can tell.”

            Wednesday could tell. Steve hadn’t even brought pajamas, and Wednesday had been debating if she should buy him some. Pajamas seemed pretty necessary.

            “I had my brother and his girlfriend check the house,” Erica continued once Wednesday turned back to her. “And his stuff is still there, but the locks have all been changed and the windows have been deadbolted.”

            Rage flickered through Wednesday, realizing what the Harrington’s had done. She’d kill them. She’d feed them to Kitty Kat, let Homer drink their blood. She’d torture them in ways she would never let anyone touch Steve. How dare they do this to their own son!

            “Glad we’re on the same page,” Erica was grinning now. “Listen, my brother’s girlfriend can get us in. She’s good like that. The problem is will be what to do once we’re in. We’ll grab Steve’s stuff, yes, but we need more. Way more. I was hoping you’d help.”

            Wednesday glanced at where Steve and Dustin were still fast asleep. This she could do.

            “Give me three weeks,” Wednesday instructed firmly. “No, give me a month. I want this to be perfect.”

            Erica was a little devil. Wednesday could see it in the girl’s eyes.

            “Perfect.”

-----------------------------

            You should all be absolutely terrified.