Title: Spiders on Skin (Blood, Sugar, Coal)
Fandoms Crossed: The Addams Family/NCIS
Pairings/Characters: Morticia Addams/Abby Sciuto
Seasons/Spoilers: Set before the movies and the show
Word Count: 4,388
Warnings/Disclaimers: Some violence/blood play and obviously the age gap
Summary: Abby's services as a babysitter are required at the Addams household. What an extraordinary fit... in more ways than one.
Author's Notes: This is set roughly 3 years before The Addams Family movie (taken separately to cartoons and tv shows) and 15 years before NCIS. There are a few references to facts revealed in the show but obviously no spoilers.
x-posted at cross_my_heart , theaddamssource and my journal (and probably a few other places)
Abigail Sciuto pulled at a pigtail, looking up at the second empire mansion standing before her, bathed in the golden light of sundown. She knocked hard on the old wooden door and stood admiring the light above her head, trapped in latticed forged iron, while she waited for admittance.
She'd placed an ad offering her services as a babysitter in the classified section of Aunt Katherine and Uncle Larry's home town paper (she'd decided summer with her relatives before starting at LSU would placate Gloria after that incident with the nitrogen triiodide in the garage - Abby hadn't anticipated such a fast reaction and how was she supposed to know that the sight of purple smoke seeping out from under the garage door would prompt her uptight neighbour to call the fire department? The smoke was PURPLE after all. Hardly typical of an uncontrolled house fire. Her mom didn't buy it, though, and there were some very rude signs being fired across the living room that night) A few hours earlier, she'd received a phone call from a man whose voice sounded like large rocks being ground together, asking if she was available to babysit tonight. He'd given her an address a few miles out of town and after consulting her Aunt Katherine's road map and kissing her Uncle Larry goodbye over the bar, Abby caught a bus.
The driver gave her a look somewhere between abject horror and uneasy sympathy when she climbed down the steps at the end of Whitechapel Road. She waved cheerfully at him through the glass as the doors closed and the bus pulled away, a little too fast. Abby turned and began to walk up the road, following the gentle rise of the hill that supported the tall grey mansion she was headed for. A rusty but nevertheless solid iron fence topped with vicious looking spikes followed her along the roadside and Abby trailed pale fingers over the bars as she walked. Her silver charm bracelet adorned with skulls and test tubes and shiny winged bats tinkled with every bump of her flesh against metal.
As Abby approached the entrance to the extensive grounds, the front gate opened before her with a sound that she was almost sure was a rusty purr. Wondering where the wiring was hidden in such an old security system, she stepped through the small gap and brushed her nails over the gate's handle. "Thank you." Abby said politely and was almost sure she felt a little shiver under her hand. Smiling, she walked up the driveway and stood on the front step. And after knocking, she waited.
One of the great doors opened inwards and Abby looked up and up and up into the face of a very tall, very gaunt butler. She reigned in her surprise and replaced her look of shock with a friendly smile.
"Hi, I'm Abby Sciuto. I've come to babysit." The butler stepped aside and groaned low in his throat. Actually, he could have said 'Come in' but Abby had trouble discerning vowels and consonants from the rocky, rumbling grind that issued from the giant's throat. She bobbed her head and stepped inside, her smile widening as the butler closed the door behind them. "You were the star of your high school basketball team, am I right?" He looked down at her with a blank expression. Abby gave him a knowing look and tapped his chest. "I bet you broke a few hearts off the court, huh?" Abby couldn't help laughing at the slightly confused, still mostly blank look on her host's face. She took a moment to look about - the last of the sun's rays sliced through the occasional window spaced around the rooms adjacent to the entrance hall, making the shadows seem even deeper in what was now quite apparently, a very big house.
"Lurch, old man! Is that the babysitter you've got there?"
Abby looked up to see a man of much more normal stature but a great deal more animation than her present companion come bounding down a grand staircase to greet her. Lurch (is that like Cher? Or Prince? Abby wondered) groaned in response and stalked off into a drawing room to their left. Abby turned her attention back to the lively Castilian man before her, dressed in a chalk striped charcoal suit and smoking a cigar. He took her hand and shook it enthusiastically. Abby really couldn't help smiling - he must have been 30 years older than her but he had the energy of a kid hyped on sugar.
"My name's Abby. Are you Mr Addams?" The man bounced on the balls of his feet and smoothed his hair with one hand, straightened his tie with the other and then took a puff on his cigar.
"Gomez, please! It is a pleasure to meet you, Abby. Thank you for coming tonight. My wife and I haven't been to the opera in years and we suddenly acquired tickets to our favourite - Madama Butterfly. Do you know it?" Gomez spoke very fast and Abby tried valiantly to keep up.
"No, sir." Abby shook her head and her pigtails bounced. Gomez looked ready to explain the plot to her when he was interrupted by a low, lilting voice from the top of the stairs.
"It is about a beautiful young girl who kills herself in desperation, having lost her husband and son to circumstances beyond her control." Both Abby and Gomez turned to the voice and unbeknownst to either, they both caught their breath at the sight before them.
A woman clad in black, as pale as death but coursing with a subtle vibrant energy, with heart's blood red lips and nails and sparkling eyes slowly descended the staircase, one hand gliding down the banister beside her. Her hair hung sleek and down past her shoulders, exactly the same inky black as Abby's. Her dress slipped close across every curve, dipping down to an almost indecent level, showing glorious inches of soft white skin stretched across her collarbones and swelling temptingly at the curves of her breasts. The lace was so delicate, at her hips and shoulders Abby could see the intricate patterns of thorned vines woven closely together like the wall of vicious briars guarding Sleeping Beauty from the world. Trails of fabric dripped from her wrists and several tarnished silver, jade and onyx rings adorned her long fingers. Her dress fishtailed out just below the knees and through layers of muted satin and heavier lace, Abby caught a glimpse of pale legs diving into black vintage heels as they reached the bottom of the stairs and approached her.
Gomez broke his reverie and stepped forward to take wife's arm, a look on his face like he couldn't believe she was standing there next to him.
"This is my beautiful wife, who has obviously been looking forward to a night out." Gomez lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the pale knuckle beside a particularly lavish silver ring, swirling petals of a large gardenia glinting darkly in the low light. She smiled indulgently and waited until he'd finished before offering her other hand to Abby.
"You must be Abigail. My name is Morticia. We're so pleased you could come tonight." Abby couldn't help staring into those dark, intelligent eyes, even as they quietly dissected her and analysed their findings. She felt like a specimen picked up for her high school science club, pinned to a board and unable to move. She didn't even think to correct the older woman on her first name. She realised that Morticia was still clasping her hand, though they did not shake. Uncertain what to do (or where she was, who she was, other little things like that), Abby smiled politely and squeezed the cool palm pressed against hers. Morticia waited for another beat and let go. As she did so, her eyes flashed and the curves of those long, sharp, red nails sliced delicately into Abby's wrist. Abby's breath caught in her throat for a second but she gave no response other than that as her hand dropped to her side. Morticia smiled at this, enigmatic and beautiful and goddamn confusing the hell out of Abby. Not to mention the blood creeping to the surface of her pale skin.
"Have you met the little demons?" Gomez asked, cigar back in his mouth and smoothing his moustache. He turned and looked upwards, to the higher levels of the house where one serious, colourless face appeared, flanked by identical black braids. Then a chubby set of legs sprung through the balusters beside and another, rounder face popped into view above them.
"Wednesday! Pugsley! Come down and meet Abby." The first face, complete with braids, tipped sideways in a questioning motion before disappearing. The second followed, but with much scuffling, as if the chubby face in question had caught itself between the balusters. The legs withdrew and little thumping footsteps could be heard coming down the stairs. Abby watched as a serious little girl in a dark grey dress with black stockings trotted down the stairs towards them, followed by her rather rounder younger brother in a striped t-shirt, who took each step with cheerful clumsiness. The children aligned themselves between their parents and regarded Abby with curiosity, though Wednesday's expression was a little blander than her brother's.
"This is Pugsley and this is Wednesday," Morticia rested a hand on her daughter's shoulder, looking lovingly at both of them. "Children, this is Abigail. She is your babysitter for tonight. We expect you to be on your best behaviour for her." Gomez reached out and ruffled Pugsley's short hair.
"Maybe you can give her a demonstration of your new catapult, son. And break in Wednesday's birthday guillotine." Wednesday looked solemnly from her father to Abby, eyes wide and unblinking.
"How old are you?" Wednesday asked. Abby smiled down at the grim face before her but quickly decided a business like approach to the question would be better appreciated by the grave little girl. She rearranged her features into a more serious expression.
"I'm 19. I'd guess you're about 8. Am I right?" Wednesday regarded her with ambivalence, pausing a few moments before nodding.
"Pugsley is only 6. Father says I'm not to manacle him to the ceiling anymore," at which point Pugsley jumped in to happily declare that his shoulders were dislocated for a whole month after last time, and Wednesday rolled her eyes, "What use is a little brother you can't hang from the belfry?" Abby couldn't hold back a snort of laughter which was mostly covered by Gomez's exclamation, "Just like Fester and I!"
"I superglued my little brother into a hardhat attached to a wooden beam in our garage when he was 7," Abby offered. "Maybe that would give Pugsley's shoulders a rest?" Wednesday stared and slowly allowed a small smile to creep across her ghostly face. Pugsley bounced up and down with excitement and Gomez clapped him on the back. Morticia arched an eyebrow, clearly amused.
"What a charming thought. I'm afraid it is time for us to go - be good, children." Morticia bent down to kiss both Pugsley and Wednesday on the cheek before slipping her arm through her husband's. Abby watched as Gomez opened the door for his wife and they both descended the stone steps to the waiting car, with Lurch behind the wheel wearing a chauffeur’s cap.
"Have fun!" Abby called as they closed the car door behind them. Morticia smiled slightly at her through the window and the last thing Abby saw as the car pulled away was an alabaster hand raised to open lips, her tongue running slowly across the long crimson nails that sliced into Abby's flesh minutes earlier. Suddenly rooted to the spot, Abby rubbed the slowly clotting scratches with itching fingers. A minute passed before she felt a tug at her short skirt and looked down to see Wednesday watching her.
"Abigail, can we play murder in the dark? I haven't finished my crossbow but Pugsley has a bear trap he wants to test." Abby grinned at the children, slowly bringing her focus away from decidedly more adult matters. She cocked her head to one side.
"Okay, but call me Abby." Wednesday lead the way up the staircase with Abby and Pugsley following. "Maybe I can help with your crossbow first. I made one for my grade 10 history assignment." Pugsley looked up at her in awe. "I've never seen a teacher duck that fast in my life. I mean, I was aiming for the apple Nancy Baker brought her, not her head..."
Abby was just drying her hands at the kitchen sink when she heard the front door open. She dropped the dishcloth over the drying crockery and walked quickly along the corridor towards the entrance hall. She drew up short upon seeing Morticia standing alone by the door, looking out a side window into the night. Cold, heavy rain had started just as Abby was putting the children to bed and it hadn't abated for the past hour while she explored the old mansion and cleared the plates from dinner.
Thunder rumbled and a fork of lightning lit up the half view Abby had of the older woman's face. She was wearing a heavy, velvety cloak, sparkling with raindrops, with the hood pulled down to rest on her shoulders. Morticia reached up to undo the pewter clasp at her throat, catching the swathes of fabric as they slid down her shoulders, hanging the damp material from a branch of a tall shadowy coat tree standing against the wall. As if Abby's gaze raking over her body was a physical touch, Morticia turned and smiled at the young woman who blushed guiltily at being caught watching her.
"Abigail." Low pitched and inviting, Abby had never imagined her given name could sound so delicious. She tried not to let the warmth that crept from her cheeks lower and lower down her body be at all obvious but she had a feeling it was a wasted effort as Morticia openly appraised her from head to toe, still with that languid smile on her lips. "How were the children?" Abby shifted her weight in her Mary Janes, tipping her head sideways and smiling at the mention of Wednesday and Pugsley.
"They were really good. Pugsley and I finished making nitroglycerine for his first show and tell - he wasn't cooling the nitric and sulfuric acid enough before adding the glycerin drops. That's why he kept burning through the kitchen ceiling." At least, Abby thought that was why until Pugsley had shown her the remnants of the chemistry sets he'd gotten every year since he turned 3. She'd privately formed the opinion that he'd wanted a faster route to the kitchen from his bedroom, rather than making a simple temperature miscalculation. "And Wednesday painted her spiders as an art project. She's got a real eye for detail. They're great kids, Mrs Addams." Abby said earnestly.
"They are wonderful little miscreants. And please, call me Morticia." She took a couple of graceful steps in Abby's direction, trailing her hand over a child sized meat cleaver left on the hall table, regarding her with that intelligent stare. Abby nodded, a little more timid than usual, and lifted a hand to pull at one of her pigtails. Nervous habit. Better than biting her nails. And now she was thinking of how those long red nails sliced into her wrist…
"Where's Mr Addams?" Morticia caressed the edge of the blade under her fingertips, blinking her cat-like eyes and leaning a little against the table. The low light of the entranceway lamps made her skin seem to glow, the shadows of the hallway seeping into her hair and dress making them impossibly dark.
"Gomez met some business associates as we were leaving the opera. Lurch drove me home. My husband will return later in the evening." As she paused, Morticia's eyes travelled unabashedly down Abby's body once more. "Abigail, you are much luckier than those unfortunate teenagers in town, with their blonde hair, freckles, cheerleading outfits," she paused, shuddering."... spending time in malls." A step closer. "You are quite a beautiful creature."
Abby couldn't say a word, she was too stunned to do more than look down at herself and wonder what the woman in front of her saw that she didnt. Abby never suffered a lack of confidence but still, Morticia's assessment seemed strange. She wore what she had on when she received the phone call from Lurch - a short black skirt with crimson pleats, a dark gray button down shirt made of satiny fabric with skulls embroidered along the bottom, fishnets and her Mary Janes. Her lips were stained Raspberry Red and she wore a little eyeliner but no make up besides that and no jewellery apart from her silver charm bracelet on her right wrist. She was pale as whitewash and her hair was up in bunches. Abby didn't mind how she looked but being called beautiful, when she wasn't even dressed up, surprised her.
"What's this?" Morticia took another step towards Abby and brushed a loose strand of away from her neck, her fingers lingering on the skin there, marked by slashes of black ink. Abby tried to control herself but couldn't help shuddering under the gentle touch.
"Wednesday finished her art project so I let her paint a spider on me. I'd almost forgotten it was there. Do you... like it?" Abby inhaled sharply as Morticia scratched the tip of one nail along the lines of the spider's web. She was only inches away from the perfect line of the older woman's jaw, her blood red lower lip now caught between pearly white teeth as she scratched her way across the web to the back of Abby's neck with intense fascination.
"It's beautiful. What a fortunate canvas my little artist had to work with." Morticia trailed her hand back down Abby's shoulder, half cupping her breast before grasping her hip and pushing her firmly back against the hallway wall. Abby gasped on impact, and again when Morticia's fingers found soft flesh under her shirt, nails sinking into the pale skin right above her hip. Charm bracelet jingling faintly, Abby lifted her own hand to rest against the taller woman's waist, tentatively pulling her closer. Morticia smiled and willingly pressed her body up against Abby's, which burned at every point of contact. Abby felt naked under the startling gaze of those deep dark eyes but she looked back with determination, even if it was tinged with pain and mild confusion.
Morticia reached down with her free hand and pulled Abby's damaged left wrist up to her face. She inspected the scratches carefully, noting that they had stopped bleeding a long time since but still showed up a dull red against pale creamy skin. As she glanced up at Abby, the younger woman noticed Morticia's eyes were clouded with something - intrigue? Lust? She moaned low in her throat as Morticia pressed her scarlet lips to the marks, soothing them with her touch and then, sending a jolt through Abby's centre, her tongue. Looking up into her eyes, Morticia smiled distractingly and Abby didn't notice sharp nails running over the scratches again and again until Morticia bent to lick at the bloody wounds.
"Abigail.." she whispered, and Abby bucked involuntarily against her thigh, digging the fingers of her free hand into the lace caressing Morticia's waist. Staring at the other woman's lips, vaguely trying to distinguish lipstick from blood, Abby heard herself speak in a kind of sigh.
"Call me Abby, no one calls me Abigail." Morticia smiled, teeth perfectly white, hooded eyes reflecting a desire that was still warm but very much predatory. Abby shook as Morticia moved to within an inch of her lips and whispered against them.
"Abigail." A surge of desire, defiance, something impossibly strong ran through Abby and she moved forward just as Morticia leant down to claim her mouth. They kissed with a ferocious heat, battled with tongues and teeth, Abby tasting her own blood on Morticia's lips and quickly repaying the favour. She bit down hard on the older woman's lower lip and felt her moan as blood welled up, sliding along both their tongues. Abby tangled a hand in Morticia long dark hair, not caring that she was still dripping crimson into the loosely curled strands.
Minutes passed when every stroke of Morticia’s delicate fingers along Abby’s sides seared her skin and every tug of long jet hair elicited a moan indistinguishable from either woman. Finally, Abby wrenched her mouth away from Morticia’s, her head hitting the wall behind her. She gasped for air, a drop of blood hanging at the corner of her lips, eyes glazed and pulse roaring in her ears. Between the blood and lipstick smeared across her bruised lips and the charcoal wallpaper behind her, the blush that spread across Abby’s cheeks and her chest (when did those buttons come undone? she thought distractedly) was hardly noticeable.
Morticia looked stunningly composed, aside from her parted lips and heaving chest, her breasts brushing against Abby’s in maddening rhythm. Not in a position of power and still out of breath, Abby ground her hips against Morticia’s to relieve some of the pressure building low in her belly. It didn’t help, in fact Abby felt liquid fire shoot up her spine and stars burst into her vision. The movement seemed to have had a similar effect on Morticia. Her eyes glinted in the half light and Abby trembled. The older woman wove her fingers into the hair just above the nape of Abby’s neck, carefully avoiding the inky web on her left side, and angled her head back so the rest of the milky white skin was perfectly displayed before her. Abby stopped breathing.
With no warning at all, Morticia lunged forward and sank her teeth into the soft flesh where shoulder met neck and Abby screamed in pain and ecstasy. She felt Morticia’s teeth pierce her skin, canines sinking deep, blood welling up around them. Heat burned through every cell, every particle of her and Abby awaited spontaneous combustion. All she could feel was Morticia’s body, her hands, her lips, her teeth, as if they both existed in a vacuum. Abby felt she was just balanced between all the glorious sensations, just staying conscious, staying present, staying sane… when Morticia eased her teeth from Abby’s neck and ran her tongue teasingly over the bite.
Abby came with a groan, sparks shooting along every nerve in her body, blood rushing through her veins at light speed and at the same time, not moving at all. She lost sight and sound, all she could feel was Morticia’s body holding her up. An eternity later, the sound of gentle crooning and the scent of roses and decay reached her through the darkness. Abby opened her eyes slowly to see Morticia regarding her with a gentle, almost loving fascination. Abby felt Morticia’s arms around her and, sighing heavily, she leaned forward to rest her head on the taller woman’s shoulder.
“Mon ange, mon nymphe joli, je suis ici…” Abby let the French wash over her and relaxed further into the comforting embrace. She shifted her head and listened to the sound of Morticia’s heartbeat. Slowing, steady, but not nearly as sluggish as Abby’s felt right then. She didn’t trust her legs to support her, nor her mouth to represent her. So she stayed where she was, listening to the occasional whispered endearment and breathing in time with her warm, human support.
Several minutes later, just when the hazy thought that she might be able to sleep standing up, she was so exhausted and content crossed her mind, Abby found herself being stood gently on her own two feet. She whined softly at the loss of body heat and greater contact, and when she opened her eyes, she saw Morticia smiling at her with languorous amusement. She let Abby find her balance before carefully releasing her arms, quickly inspecting Abby’s wrist. Abby watched her eyes, once satisfied, slide up to her neck and she shifted automatically to give her better access. Morticia’s lips twitched as she decided the bite wasn’t too deep, proceeded to straighten Abby’s collar, doing up several buttons and obscuring most of her handiwork.
“Lurch is waiting outside to drive you home.” It sounded like a dismissal and Abby hesitated, insides contracting as she willed Morticia’s still downcast eyes to meet hers. Instead, a gentle hand found the small of her back and directed her to the front door. Abby’s feet moved even as her mind stalled – she shouldn’t want Morticia to say anything more, considering their respective positions, but she did. She was confused, bleeding and still shockingly turned on, she couldn’t just go. Could she?
Long pale fingers curled around the doorhandle and pushed it open to reveal the car parked a few feet from the front steps, rain sliding down the hood and dripping into puddles forming along the driveway. Abby looked out into the night, dark but a little less wild than before, and wished she didn’t have a reason to leave. She took a step out onto the stoop.
“Abigail.” Abby turned, fingers sliding over the ends of a pigtail, eyes wide and apprehensive. Almost begging, even though she tried to stay neutral. Morticia folded her arms calmly and smiled one last time. “I hope you’ll come back and babysit for us again soon. I think you have a place here now.” Abby didn’t react for several moments, having expected the worst (what was the worst, all things considered?), but slowly a small smile crept across her face. She nodded slightly and took one final look at Morticia framed in the doorway, eyes sparkling and skin glowing in the moonlight, before skipping swiftly down the stairs and getting into the back of the car, shaking raindrops from her pigtails. As Lurch pulled away from the Addams house and the car crunched down the driveway, Abby rubbed her thumb absently over the scratches on her wrist.
She hoped the children would need a lot of supervision over the summer.