With Teeth (it's her kiss that's as black as the sea)

Wednesday had been intending to exceed her historical record of carrying 56 different weapons on her person for some time now, but the goal had fallen down her list of priorities in favour of more pressing pursuits. She's delighted the day she realises she has beaten that number by 10 without even trying for it. Enid, watching Wednesday make this discovery from the other side of the quad lunch table, crumples a whole metal fork in her hand mindlessly, blushing furiously. Yoko reaches an arm over Bianca to push Enid's jaw closed, murmuring to Enid that she can stop drooling now. The rest of the school population within hearing and sight range of this event immediately gains an additional 20 feet of distance or more away from Wednesday. There's at least one shriek of terror. Three people faint. All have just become aware of the fact that their resident void of darkness has gained some wickedly sharp claws and teeth and looks uncannily delighted about using them.

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It was the kind of pain that was reminiscent of waking up in a stranger's bathtub with a hole in your belly and a missing kidney after a night of poor life choices and even worse companions.

She had yet to experience that particular scenario for herself but Uncle Fester has provided some explicitly detailed and vivid recollections previously, so she can certainly appreciate its equivalence.

Wednesday supposed she has something to compare that to now, her fingers drifting to gently touch the healed stab wound on her abdomen, letting her mind get distracted thinking about scar tissue formation and the research potential for scales of pain.

Yet, this pain wasn't quite the same, not truly. Not quite like being stabbed. Part alcohol and missing organ feeling and partly the not-so-great decision making, undoubtedly.

(Part Wednesday refusing to truly examine the degree to which her own life choices and even worse companions might possibly be contributing to this particular outcome).

The sensation of the missing organ was all in her chest, unfortunately. Wednesday didn't believe she was missing a kidney. She'd almost admire the thief who had stolen an organ and sold it for a profit if that had truly been the case.

Instead, she'd felt her heart being torn from her chest and left to rot on the ground outside. Wasted. Stolen and discarded. Had thought she might have seen, but for a beat in the moment out of the corner of her eye, the heap of fluttering useless muscle tissue shuddering its last bloody spasms on the concrete as she heard the words that - no.

She'd think about that later.

Slightly more pressing issues to contend with here and now.

Namely, her actual physical pain. The comparison with the missing kidney had come to mind when she'd examined the bandages wrapped around her hands and forearms and coating half her abdomen and chest thickly. Dressings that covered the half that wasn't already scarred from the old knife wound and arrow puncture from the previous semester. Wednesday imagined her skin would make a fine tapestry when this was done healing.

Namely, the sight of Eugene curled into a tiny little ball on the uncomfortable infirmary chair beside her bed.

The way the sound from his neck being bent awkwardly had made his usually soft snores sound like blunt chainsaw rasps that grated at her ears.

The way she could hear the gentle thump of a pulse that wasn't her own, both from the boy in the chair next to her and - judging by the bustle, ding, scratch of writing and the occasional crash nearby - from a second heartbeat that was the nurse in the office beside the infirmary room.

Wednesday had had many days in the past where her senses had seemed more acute and the world much too loud and too bright. She supposed with her body just recovering from the previous nights adventures (and the associated sleep deprivation) it would not be unusual for the same to occur now. It would pass, she told herself. The excessive sound and light and deplorable increase of colour would soon fade back to the usual level of mildly tolerable again. She just needed a few more hours sleep.

The abrupt scrape of what sounded like a cannonball across the hardwood floors caused Wednesday to hiss in pain, clamping both bandaged hands over her ears as she shrank back from the influx of sound.

Her sudden movement caused Eugene to startle awake, his eyes suddenly becoming huge behind his glasses.

She turned her head to look at him, hands still firmly clamped on her ears.


His voice was soft, disbelieving, packing his delight, care and concern into the single exhale of her name. And Wednesday heard it clearly enough as if he'd breathed it directly into her ear. She cringed more tightly.

"Sorry!" And then again, "Sorry. Yoko said that would happen." His shoulders hunched apologetically but the happiness and relief in his eyes did not diminish as Eugene continued, more softly, "I'm so glad you're awake. We were worried."

She raised at eyebrow at him and mouthed, "Yoko?"

Her throat was a blistering desert wind, and the spasming cough it ignited had Eugene scrambling to get her a glass of water.

He'd pressed the button on the side of the railing to very slowly get her bedhead raised up to allow her to drink, and held the glass for her so it wouldn't slip in her hands. Wednesday put away the thought of not allowing anyone to see her this vulnerable. To never have allowed anyone to see her like this, other than Eugene, and how she felt about it. Except, it hadn't been just - no. That too was a thought to be shelved for a later time.

She swallowed past the ache in her throat, and when she spoke the name again it came out like a crackling rumble from somewhere in her chest. "We? Yoko?"

Eugene put the glass back on the bedside table and had sat down and opened his mouth to speak when she heard that hideous scraping sound again. She would be dropping a cannonball - possibly several - on whoever was causing that horrendous racket.

Then she recognised the soft pattering that immediately followed each screech of the cannonball across the floor and cursed herself for a fool. She should have known it for what it was sooner.

"Eugene," she rasped quietly, "please pick both Thing and the crystal ball up off the floor and put them on my bed."

"What?" Eugene's eyes swung about looking for the cause of her comment before darting across the room to collect Thing who had just made it past the doorway, picking both up awkwardly to deposit Thing onto his shoulder and then dumping the crystal ball on the bed near Wednesday's feet, Thing scrambling off to follow.

Thing turned to her and paused at the start of his expression, as if choosing his words carefully. Wednesday could almost feel Thing's spectral vision searching her face to see if she was truly okay, before he flexed his whole hand and then began signing at a rapid pace.

Yoko, Eugene and the rest of the Nightshades had apparently been taking it in shifts to stay by her bedside until she woke up. And this was after her parents spent the first four days here not leaving her side, not until they were obliged to go due to some urgent legal business meetings for Gomez and Morticia (after reassuring themselves of her recovery with an Addams family doctor's second opinion).

"What do you mean, four days? How long."

Thing paused again.

"How. Long."

Her demand for Thing's obeisance was a snarl she could feel like gravel in her chest.

A week. You've been here a week, he'd signed.

Wednesday leant back gingerly against the pillows and cursed the wretched heavenly body that had dared to orbit this forsaken speck of a planet they were forced to inhabit just at the most inconvenient time. Stupid beautiful space rock that it was, goddess of madness and ocean tides.

All that writing time and cello practice she would need to catch up on.

Wednesday missing a week of classes was neither here nor there - she was weeks ahead anyway and her notes for each subject were extensive - but what concerned her most was the week spent out of touch with her surroundings. Weak. Exposed. She shuddered to think of it.

Well, not entirely vulnerable. Her parents had been here - she could almost feel an imprint of their aura still in the air - and they would have protected her till their last breaths and even after that. She knew that. And Wednesday supposed the understanding and respect she had with her #1 rival, Bianca, would stand the test of some mutually beneficial quid pro quo while she was weakened. Bianca would no doubt come to collect at a later time when Wednesday was stronger again and that was fine by her.

She coughed again, and Eugene reached up to help her once more with the glass of water.

"You still haven't answered my question, Eugene. Yoko said what?"

Eugene placed the empty glass down again but did not follow to sit. He remained standing as he met Wednesday's eyes.

"Yoko has explained - well, she's left you some class notes and some books to read," - he gestured at a nearly chair-leg sized pile of books and notepads on the floor beside the chair - "She says they're really not that common, even more rare than direwolves - and she's been keeping tabs on you for …"

He trailed off as Wednesday cringed against a sudden spasm of pain in her chest, away from the thrum of golden light in her vision and the haunting of honey on her tongue that overtook her for a moment.

"Wednesday," Eugene started again, and then Thing was tapping again.

"No, don't worry Thing. I'll get the nurse now. She should know that Wednesday is awake and do a checkup anyway. You stay there and make sure Wednesday stays still."

Since when did Eugene understand Thing's particular brand of sign language? Wednesday wondered to herself as she watched him walk away to knock on the infirmary office door, the warmth of the crystal ball a comforting weight against her hip.

She was relieved to realise she was the only patient in the small inflow room with its 4 beds set up for longer-term or more serious cases, and resolutely refused to think about the fact that she fit both categories. Privacy was to be treasured. It said something that Nevermore had evidently elected to keep her here under the care of the infirmary staff instead of sending her to the Jericho hospital, but Wednesday wasn't quite sure yet what that was.

Don't think I can tag Wednesday, Wenclair or werebear on here yet, but if anyone knows how please let me know. Thoughts and feedback always welcome!

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