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All in the Family

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Abby Sciuto looked at the paper in her hand and then up at the mansion. It was set back from the street, its front a tangle of overgrown weeds and dead trees.  The house itself looked as if it hadn’t been occupied in years.

“I wonder if I wrote it down wrong,” Abby murmured as she carefully navigated the broken concrete slabs that had once been a sidewalk. She knew that she’d read the letter again and again. 

Ever since Abby had learned she was adopted, she’s been looking for her biological parents. It wasn’t just because she wanted to meet them, but she had questions about her medical history and a desire to know who she was.  Certainly, she was a Sciuto, but she was also someone else.

After many long months of searching, she was rewarded with a name. Computer wiz that she was, it took her no time to find an address to with it.  She wrote a letter, handwritten and with her best pen and ink set.  When a reply came, Abby couldn’t have been more pleased and excited.

She’d shared the news with Gibbs, of course. He advised caution.  She’d shared the news with Ducky.  He advised expedience.  She’d shared the news with Jimmy and he told her to go for it.  She took Jimmy’s advice.

She slowly climbed the front steps, certain that her Doc Martin’s would break through at any moment. Despite the creaks and moaning protests, the stairs and porch bore her weight.  She closer her black parasol and inched closer to the front door.

Abby said a quiet prayer asking that she find the answers to her quest and reached for the door knocker. The resulting knock shook her and, seemingly, the house to the core.

There was the sound of heavy footstep and the door creaked open.   The man who stood there filled every inch of the frame, dwarfing her, and it was all Abby could do to not run away. 

“Yes?” he rumbled.

“Um, Hi. I’m Abby Sciuto.  I’m expected.” 

“Follow me, please.” The giant turned and moved into the inner recesses of the house.  He paused waiting for her to join him.

”Okay.” Her voice sounded small, but she did as he asked.  Once in, the door shut with a resounding thud and Abby calmed her nerves by studying the room before her.  It was bulging with decorations, but of a style she would have not been able to even suggest.  At one end was a huge stuffed bear, a moose head with one wonky antler, a giant tortoise with two heads, and a sailfish with a man’s leg sticking out of its mouth.  However, the room was spotless and the furniture was in perfect repair.  It reminded her of her own quirky  tastes a little.

That’s when she spotted two people, a man and a woman, fencing.   The woman wore a sleek black dress that covered her practically from head to toe.  Her skin was ivory white and her long black hair glistened.  The man wore a three piece suit, a sharp moustache and seemed to be doing most of the work while the woman easily parried each sword thrust.

“Miss Abby Sciuto,” the giant rumbled and walked away.

“Thank you, Lurch.” Immediately, the swords were lowered and all attention was upon her.  Abby had worried about what to wear, but had decided to go with her Goth best.  They needed to see her as she was.

“My, word, what a beauty!” The man exclaimed as he removed the cigarillo and he swept forward.  “Gomez Addams and this is my lovely wife, Morticia.”

Morticia held out a slender hand, “Enchante.”

“Tish, that’s French.” He tossed the slender cigar away and grabbed Morticia’s arm, kissing his way up it.  “More, Tish, more!  Crepe Suzette, Eiffel Tower, anything!” Abby giggled at the man’s reaction.

Morticia’s voice was a soft purr. “Dear, Abby now, Crepe Suzettes later.”

“Right.”   He pulled another cigarillo from his pocket and began to puff away, composing himself.  “I’ll ring for refreshments.”  Gomez walked away

“Wow, he really loves you.”

Morticia leaned closer and murmured, “Mais oui.”  She gestured to an elegant chair and Abby sat, tucking her skirt closer about her legs.  The room was a little chilly for her tastes.  “I am sure you have many questions to ask, dear Abby.”  She looked after her husband who was conversing with Lurch, the giant, and an old woman.  “Please let me say that we were desperately young when we married, far too young to be able to give a child the love and support she needed.”

“Oh, I’m fine with that.   It was not an easy decision, I’m sure.” 

Morticia shook her head sadly. “Indeed it was not.  I often worried.”  She reached out and cupped Abby’s chin.  “Your parents obviously did a fine job of raising you.

“I love my parents and I had a wonderful childhood. My questions are of more of a physical nature.”

“Physcial?” Gomez asked as he joined them.

“Well, genetic. One day I hope to have children and I just wanted to know if there was anything that might be passed along.”

“You mean, like a fortune?” Gomez started to sound skeptical.

“No, more like heart disease or cancer, that sort of thing.”

Gomez grinned. “Oh, nothing like that.  Addams’ stock is some of the hardiest around.  We survived the Black Plague you know.  Cousin Rupert caught it three time.”

“Three times?” Abby’s mouth dropped.

“Well, the last two times were on purpose. The man was a bit of an attention seeker,” Gomez said and Morticia nodded knowingly. 

“True.” Morticia sat in a straight back umbrella cane chair.  “Abby, what do you do for living?”

“Oh, I’m a forensic scientist.” She grinned a little.  “I talk to dead people… well, a friend of mine does and I try to fill in the blanks.”

“By jove!” Gomez was elated. “I knew that family would raise her right.”

There was an odd whooping sound and Morticia smiled.  “Mail’s in.”

A box setting on the table to Abby’s left popped open and a hand reached out, holding a collection of envelopes.

“What’s that?” Abby asked, her eyes wide.

“Oh, that’s Thing. He’s ever so handy to have around the house.  Thing, this is…”

“Cousin Abby. How are you, Thing?”  Abby smiled and offered her hand. Thing dropped back nearly into his box. “Oh, you’re shy,” Abby said.    “I understand.”

“It’s all right, Thing. She’s family.”

Lurch arrived pushing a tea cart that he dwarfed. “Tea is served.”

“Thank you, Lurch.” The old woman reappeared followed by two young children.  “Abby, this is Grandmamma and our two children, Pugsley and Wednesday.  Children, Grandmamma, this is Abby.”

“Hello,” Pugsley chirped. “Mother, may I take my tea to Uncle Fester’s room.  He’s showing me his vacation slides from the Okefenokee Swamp.”

“Oh, I’ve been there,” Abby said. “They have some of the best fungus there.”

Pugsley eyes lightened up. “Do you collect it?”

“Uh huh, and grow it. I’ve got some new strains growing right now in my lab.”

“You have a laboratory?” The question was hushed.

“I do,” Abby said proudly. “Maybe one day I could show it to you.”

“Wow! I’m gonna go tell Uncle Fester.”  Pugsley’s cup was forgotten and he raced off.

Up to this point, Wednesday had done nothing but stare at Abby. Now she got even closer.  “Who does your eyes?”

“I do. I use Egyptian kohl.”  Abby reached into her tiny purse and pulled out a stick.  “I could show you how to do yours.  They make boys drop dead.”

There was the slightest hint of a smile on the young girl’s lips. “Really?  I’d like that.”

“It would have to be okay with your mom first, though.”

“Of course.” Morticia stroked her daughter’s long straight hair tenderly.  “She has to learn some time and best she learn from family.”

Wednesday grabbed Abby’s hand. “This way.”

“Abby, would you like to stay for dinner?” Morticia called after her.

“I’d love to!”

Morticia sipped her belladonna tea and smiled. “It is nice to finally have a happy ending to this.  And to have you home at last.”

Gomez nodded slowly. “True, but I can’t help wonder about her brother now.”