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Did I Forget to Mention?

Chapter Text

Beetlejuice leaned against the side of the wall, his head spinning. His name was Beetlejuice, right? Everything felt so fuzzy, and there were definetly things that he was forgetting.

 

The very frazzled demon had been standing there for over an hour as the Council, the authority that took over after Juno's death (that would be disbanded in a couple of centuries after she reformed) wrote out the letter they planned for him to deliver. Beetlejuice had been quite a pain in the ass for them after his return. He broke every rule and led a mini-revolution against them, although it was more focused on destruction than overthrowing the government. So, the best option was obviously using memory spells to break him into being a model citizen, right?

 

Wrong. So very wrong. The first thing you must note is that Beetlejuice wanted nothing to do with it as you can probably guess. Memory spells are hard enough with willing participants, but with someone as stubborn as Beetlejuice? Near impossible. Secondly, Beetlejuice is a Born-Dead Demon, one of the most powerful beings you can find in the Netherworld. This almost completely negated any effect of the memory spells. So what did they do?

 

They fried him. Frazzled his memory and left him a mood-swinging mess. Things would swing in and out of focus, and his personality changed more often than the President's priorities.

 

One thing was for sure, though. Beetlejuice was not the same. A man with a very dark ring around his neck handed a note to the demon. "Don't open it, give it to the first person you see." He instructed.

 

Beetlejuice gave a nod, his eyes unfocused and his stature unbalanced. He took the sheet of paper and held it close to his chest. It felt important, and not just because he was told that it was.

 

The assistant grabbed Beetlejuice's shoulders and directed him to the door drawn on the wall. He knocked three times and shoved him through quickly before slamming it shut.

 

Beetlejuice felt like he had entered nowhere It felt like nothing, absolutely nothing. He stumbled around before the outline of a door appeared and slowly opened revealing a strikingly familiar scene.

 

Deja Vu hit him like a brick, even though he had zero recollection of the place. Or the five people inside of it, staring at him with the widest eyes imaginable.

 

"Beetlejuice?!?"

 

*****

 

The sequence of events was sporadic, to say the least. Charles had grabbed Lydia and nearly chucked her out of the room, Delia following her on her own accord. Barbara quickly used a new parlor trick she had been using to freeze Beetlejuice in place as Adam grabbed a scimitar off of the mantle and directed it towards the demon.

 

"Beetlejuice, explain yourself this instant or I swear I'll find a way to kill you again." Adam snarled. 

 

Beetlejuice just remained frozen, slightly strangled noises escaping through his closed teeth. Barbara went a bit flush and loosened her grip on him. The demon cleared his throat and looked at the Maitlands in the eyes. "I don't know why I'm here. All I remember is getting a sheet of paper," he said, jerking his head in the direction of his right hand. "And being shoved in a door. I was told to give it to the first person I saw, so if I could be allowed to open my fist, you should take it."

 

The Maitlands gave each other a look, mostly confused by Beetlejuice's tone of voice. It didn't hold the usual snarkiness or perviness, just a bit of confusion. Barbara sighed and let the demon's fist loose, which promptly opened. Adam quickly grabbed the sheet of paper inside and gave a small gasp.

 

To the Unluckiest People in the Land of the Living,

 

We deeply regret to inform you that you are now charged with taking care of and reforming Lawrence Betelgeuse Shoggoth. He can only leave the house if he remains within a ten-foot radius of one of its inhabitants. A tether spell has been initiated to ensure this rule remains unbroken. We attempted to reform him ourselves with memory magic, but as you can probably already tell, it only left him confused and forgetful.

 

He cannot remember and actions against you, assuming the person reading this is a member of the Deetz or Maitland family, and holds no ill towards you. Certain memories will fluctuate and his personality will constantly change, but we assume you are up to the task.

 

If you succeed in your efforts, we will remove Lawrence Betelgeuse Shoggoth from your presence immediately and you will be handsomely rewarded when you enter the Netherworld to begin your afterlife.

 

Please, for whatever reason, DO NOT SAY 'JUNO' IN HIS PRESENCE.

 

This is the only way his memory can be restored. If said too many times, he will revert back to normal and he will cause destruction.

 

  • Deepest apologies, the Council of the Netherworld

 

Adam read the letter aloud, only pausing at the forbidden word and replacing it with 'his mother's name'. The family looked at the demon with a worry, but he once again had a confused expression. It seemed that he couldn't remember any reference to his mind being messed with.

 

Lydia slowly peeked out from behind the door frame that lead to the kitchen. "So, he can't remember us?" She asked.

 

Adam nodded, eyes returning to the demon. He has been looking around the room, taking in the furniture as he waited for the rest of his body to be freed. Barbara let go, and he nearly fell over with his momentum. Standing up straight, he dusted his suit before recoiling with disgust. He brought his hand up to his face to find an unnerving amount of grime on his fingertips.

 

Looking at the people in front of him, he offered his slightly cleaner hand with an awkward smile that didn't quite fit well in his face. "I'm sorry if I scare you with my initial appearance, but I don't mean any harm. Would you like to start over?"

 

It felt surreal, hearing that gravelly voice spit out all of those words without a single bit of malice or sarcasm behind them, but it was actually happening. "Uh, I would appreciate that," Charles said, standing up from behind the couch. He slowly walked up to the smiling demon, lightly took his hand and gave it a quick shake. "The name is Charles, it's a pleasure to meet you."

 

The demon nodded and turned to the rest of the family. "I'd introduce myself, but it seems that you all already know me. I must be quite the buzz if that's so." He put his hands in his pockets, which he immediately regretted when he felt something squishy. Quickly removing his hands, he was repulsed when he saw them covered in a sort of black ooze. He was even more repulsed by his odd urge to lick it. "Sorry to bother, but do you have any place I could clean up? And change?"

 

*****

 

Beetlejuice stood alone in the guest bedroom. He was gifted a hoodie and jeans that were too short for Charles but looked like they could fit him. He was also given a plastic back for his suit, which he thought to be very necessary. Entering the guest bathroom, he ditched the suit as quickly as he could, shoving it in the bag, tying it closed and pushing it away into the corner. Turning around, he faced the shower which felt oddly familiar but extremely foreign. It gave him a headache.

 

Stepping inside, he turned the temperature up high and gagged when the water turned black as it passed through his hair.

 

While their new guest was showering, a heated debate grew in the kitchen.

 

"He's leaving. Now." Barbara forcefully stated, her glare alone almost making the demand a reality.

 

"But you heard what the letter said! He cannot leave the house without one of us. He's stuck here until he's reformed." Adam reasoned. Barbara slammed a fist on the kitchen island. 

 

"That son of a bitch tried to exorcise me. I will personally go the Netherworld myself and make one of those assholes who shoved him onto us take him back myself if I have to." She growled.

 

"Language!" Adam exclaimed with immediate regret when his spouse shot him a look that could kill.

 

"Barbara, he can't remember doing that. He can't remember anything to us." Lydia reminded.

 

"But he still did," Barbara muttered angrily.

 

"But he doesn't remember. I don't think it's very fair to put this on him. He's an entirely different person now, and he deserves a restart." Delia added.

 

Barbara took a deep breath and calmed herself down. "Fine. A week. If I am still against him being here at the end of the week, he is gone. Got it?" She said with a firm voice. Everyone nodded in agreement.

 

Lydia played with her thumbs as the rest of the adults dispersed. It felt good to have a whole new Beetlejuice, but for the strangest reason, she kind of missed the old one.

Chapter Text

Beetlejuice stepped out of the shower and quickly wrapped a towel around his waist. He had used almost all of the shampoo and the soap bar was nothing but a brittle mess, but he actually got himself clean. He checked himself out in the mirror and let out a gasp.

 

He had only briefly seen his reflection in the mirror, but even that was enough to be shocked by the difference. His face, once so deathly pale that it almost looked grey, was now alive with color. His hair was shiny, but not in a greasy way. It was now shiny with a luster that looked healthy. His entire body was far cleaner, too. While looking in the mirror, his eyes landed on the scar in the middle of his chest. It was hard to see in the shower, but now it was fully visible. 

 

The circle was unnaturally round and had created a hole through his chest. It was painful in a weird way. Looking at it made him upset. Unreasonably upset to the point where he wanted to cry. He quickly turned away from the mirror when he felt tears brimming in the corners of his eyes. 

 

Stepping back into the guest bedroom with the towel still around his waist, Beetlejuice slipped on the clothes that were on the bed. Compared to the disgusting suit that he was wearing before, these clothes felt like nothing he had ever felt before. Not heavy, not dirty, not crusty with substances that he didn't want to think about, just soft. 

 

He ran his hands through his hair one last time before leaving his room behind. The cool air made him shudder a bit and he really wished he had socks at the moment due to the wooden floor, but he felt refreshed. He walked to the end of the hallway and to the top of the stairs, grabbing hold of the banister. The floorboards groaned underneath him and he cringed at how loud he was being. It was when he reached the bottom of the stairs that he remembered that he could float.

 

Which seemed really weird, because he clearly remembered floating almost everywhere before, before something happened. The thoughts kept coming, but he felt another headache approaching and stashed them away for a later date. He looked around the living room and saw Adam sitting on the couch with a book and pen in his hand. Beetlejuice slowly walked over and sat down on the couch with a sigh. Adam quickly glanced over to see who he was, then glanced again, and then was full-blown staring.

 

"Beetlejuice? You're, you're pink!" He blurted. Beetlejuice looked at himself again and went flush with embarrassment, the tips of his hair turning yellow.

 

"Yeah, I guess with all the dirt and grime on me, I looked pretty grey." He chuckled softly. 

 

"I'm sorry! I, I didn't mean to embarrass you, it's just that, well I don't know, you were so dirty before." Adam rambled. 

 

"No no, it's fine honestly." Beetlejuice responded. With the conversation cut off and a sense of boredom was quickly rising, the demon resorted to looking over the shoulder of Adam and reading what he was reading.

 

But he wasn't reading. The page had two big squares on it that had lots of smaller squares inside. Adam was currently writing a number two in one them. 

 

Adam started feeling Beetlejuice's breath on his neck and turned around to scold him. He paused when he noticed his genuinely curious expression on his face as he looked at his game of Sudoku. "Do you know what Sudoku is?" Adam asked. Beetlejuice gave a brief shake of his head.

 

Adam thought as much and opened up a drawer in the coffee table. He picked up an old book and pen and handed them to the demon. Opening up to the first page, he pointed his own pen at the book. "You see the numbers there? Well, there can only be one of each number in a row, column, or box. You use that rule to find out what all the numbers are." 

 

Beetlejuice looked down at the sheet of paper. He traced the rows and columns of a couple of sevens and found a spot where it had to go. He clicked the pen and wrote it down, shocked by how shaky his handwriting was. But it didn't matter to him right now, because he just found another two.

 

Adam was a bit shocked by how quickly Beetlejuice had taken to Sudoku. He wasn't good at it, he was actually one of the slowest people Adam had ever seen. But he enjoyed it without any sort of retort or complaint or frustration, and it was so different. Seeing Beetlejuice here, clean, being nice and enjoying Sudoku of all things was a shocker. They really must have messed with him to get him like this.

 

Looking back at the demon, he found him sticking his tongue out in concentration while looking at the page. Adam found it rather, adorable. The demon who had nearly killed everyone in the house successfully killed his mother, and had groped and harassed him and his wife was now sitting on his couch, struggling to play Sudoku. Adam couldn't help but laugh at the irony.

 

Beetlejuice looked up at Adam, his hair turning violently yellow. "Wh-hat? Did I do something wrong?" He stuttered. 

 

"No, you're doing great! I was just remembering a joke I heard a while back, that's all." He fibbed, a bit of guilt settling in his stomach.

 

Beetlejuice nodded slowly, his hair mostly returning to its normal green. It was more like green now that it was before, and the tips and roots were still yellow.

 

Adam stood up, placing his book and pen on the table, and wandered into the kitchen. He was shocked to see both Lydia and Barbara spying on them through the doorframe. They both quickly jumped up and scrambled to the kitchen island, which only raised Adam's suspicions.

 

Barbara sighed and put an elbow on the island. "Look, I don't like him. I don't like him here, or anywhere else. The fact that his memory is fuzzed up doesn't do a thing to comfort me." 

 

Lydia gave a small glare to Barbara. "I don't like it. I don't like the new BJ. He's too polite and kind and it's just not him!" Lydia hissed. "I miss the old BJ."

 

"Well the old BJ was a perverted psychopath, Lydia. The only one of us who wants that menace back is you." Barbara snarled. Lydia flinched back, a regretful look on her face.

 

Adam out his hands on the island to steady himself. "Barbara, you promised a week. It's been less than two hours." Adam pointed out. 

 

The trio jumped when they heard someone clear their throat. "Um, guys, are you talking about me?" Beetlejuice asked, his hair an odd mix of purple, yellow, and blue. His eyes looked, off, as if he was staring at something miles away.

 

"Beetlejuice, I uh," Adam stalled before being cut off. The demon's hair had flashed white before returning to an almost neon-green. Be blinked a few times before zoning back in. He raised his hand, which held a now-finished page of Sudoku.

 

"Adam, I did it!" He said, an unintentionally intimidating grin on his face.

 

Adam gave a nervous chuckle. This was going to be a doozy.

Chapter Text

The past conversation that Beetlejuice had overheard, or at least the snippets that he heard, seemed to be completely wiped from his memory. 

 

He didn't mention it whatsoever when he happily showed Adam his finished Sudoku game. Not when Adam corrected some of his mistakes. Not even when Barbara not-so-subtly suggested that he return to his room and start a new page, which he promptly did after he had a glass of water.

 

When he was finally gone, the trio let out a sigh. Barbara glared at the spot he just occupied, and Adam clenched a fist. "He was just got excited over finishing his first game of Sudoku and got flustered over making mistakes. He apologized for being bad at a game . How can you still think that he's bad?!" Adam blurted. 

 

Barbara shot him a look before throwing her hands in the air. "Fine. I promised a week. I'll do it. I'll shut up for a week so you guys can go frolic in fields and have a jolly good time forgetting each other's crimes." She grumbled before pushing herself away from the kitchen island. "I'll be in the attic. Don't come up just to argue." She said, walking out of the kitchen.

 

Adam ran a hand through his hair and sighed. He gave a snake smile to Lydia, which she responded to with crossed arms. "I don't get how you don't find anything wrong with this." She stated, her voice unnervingly monotone.

 

"Lydia, he wasn't exactly the nicest person before he got restarted," Adam stated.

 

"Restarted? We have a term for it now? Like, like it's a normal thing. People just normally get their minds wiped and sent away to old pals to get rehabilitated. Wow, so utterly normal ." Lydia hissed.

 

"Lydia he tricked you into excorcising Barbara to force you to marry him! I don't think it's the worst thing in the world that he got his mind edited."

 

"So now, if you do something bad, you can have your entire personality rewritten?! Because someone said what you did was bad, you can have who you are erased?!"

 

"Lydia, he broke the law on multiple occasions. He's probably done countless other things in his past that we don't know about! We have no clue was his past crimes are!"

 

"That's the point! We don't know how bad of a person he was before, and we don't know how good of a person he was, either!"

 

"Lydia, for God's sake do you really think Beetlejuice was ever a good person? He was a manipulative pervert who blackmailed people on a regular basis!"

 

"I don't care what he did! What the Council did was wrong!" Lydia shouted, slamming her fists on the table. She took a couple of deep breaths to call herself down.

 

"I'm sorry, I meant to say I am sorry to say I disagree, Adam. Let us do so peacefully ." She spat sarcastically. With tense shoulders Lydia stomped out of the kitchen, leaving Adam alone with his thoughts.

 

*****

 

Beetlejuice couldn't recall what the fight way about. Not a single point that was made could stay on his mind, but he was aware that there was one. And he was aware that it was, in some way, because of him.

 

And boy did that feel bad. 

 

Barbara was in the attic and Lydia was in her room when Beetlejuice dared to look outside of his room. The hallways were clear, and the sounds of talking in the master bedroom confirmed that Adam was the only one Beetlejuice could encounter.

 

A single memory floated around his head. The context was gone and it was fuzzy, but he remembered seeing note. It had some sort of apology on it, he believed. The details were lost, but the idea was the same. He was going to write an apology note.

 

Beetlejuice made sure to float down the stairs as to not cause noise, remembering his mishap from earlier that evening. 

 

He had the pen from Sudoku in his hand, but he lacked writing paper. He looked around a bit before finding an old notebook in one of the coffee table drawers. Flipping to the back of the book, he opened it up and started writing.

 

Except he couldn't. His handwriting was misshapen and the words were stagnant in his mind. He had a million words to say but writing them down was impossible, mostly due to the fact that he didn't know how to spell over half of them. 

 

He wrote down word after word on the pages, only to look back and struggle to read them himself. His sentences were incoherent and sloppy, unreadable.

 

His grip on the pen got tighter and tighter to the point where he cracked it. He chewed on the inside of his cheek, jiggling his leg when he saw Adam in the kitchen doorway. 

 

Beetlejuice's hair turned so incredibly yellow it almost glowed as he quickly crumpled up the sheet of paper he attempted to write on. Adam quickly rushed over to the couch to comfort the flustered demon.

 

"Hey, it's ok. It's nothing to be ashamed about." Taking the notebook and pen, Adam quickly jotted something down and handed it to Beetlejuice.

 

Beetlejuice looked down at the page. "The qu-quick brown fos, no wait, fox jump, jumps over the lay, lay, lazy dog." Beetlejuice read. Looking up at Adam, his expression asked the question for him.

 

"That sentence has every letter in the alphabet in it. You can start practicing your letters by writing it down." He explained. Beetlejuice nodded, taking the pen from Adam's hand.

 

He slowly copied the sentence right beneath the original. Adam did his best to not look bored.

 

After a couple of minutes, Beetlejuice held out the notebook with a toothy grin. His sentence was much larger and any repeating letters were inconsistent, but it was eligible. And boy was Beetlejuice proud. 

 

"Good job!" Adam said with a smile.

 

*****

 

Adam spent the next hour writing down sentences for Beetlejuice to rewrite, and he'd be lying if he said he didn't enjoy it. Seeing the joy in Beetlejuice's eyes as he slowly made progress to being able to write actual sentences himself felt good. Unimaginably good. Eventually they both decided that it was time to go to bed, and after a lot of 'thank you's from Beetlejuice, they both retreated to their quarters. 

 

Normally, Adam walked around the house to keep a sense of normality, but he didn't do that tonight. He was too giddy with joy. But his mood was quickly dampened when he reached the read door of the attic. While helping Beetlejuice with his writing, he had completely forgotten about  his previous encounters with Barbara that day. He braced himself and opened the door with a white-knuckle grasp.

 

Adam expected outrage when he entered the attic, but he was instead greeted by a slumbering Barbara. Not wanting to rouse her, he quickly changed into his pajamas and slipped into bed beside her.

 

He couldn't stop thinking about Beetlejuice. He had always acted like a child, but the devoidness sweetness and innocence always made it annoying. Now that he had all the factors, he was really just a five year old with the body of a centuries-old dead guy.

 

Was this what it was like to have a child?

Chapter Text

Beetlejuice walked into the kitchen with sweatpants and a sweater on, to much of the family's surprise. It was still different to see him outside of the striped monstrosity that was his suit. A stack of pancakes was on the kitchen island next to a single plate and fork. 

 

He grabbed his plate and dished himself up. The tiniest bit of tension sprouted when he noticed that there weren't enough chairs for him to sit down, but he opted to stand. When Barbara looked his way he gave her a smile, but she only grimaced in return. 

 

When the silence at the table became unbearable, Lydia piped up. "So, how did everyone sleep last night." She asked.

 

There were a few mumbled 'fine's and 'well's before the table went silent again. 

 

After a lot of uncomfortable shuffling, it was Adam's turn to break the silence.

 

"So, a lot of the appliances have been dysfunctional lately, I'm sure we can all agree. If you have any problems with anything, make sure to come to me." He said.

 

"More like come for you." Beetlejuice quipped before slapping a hand over his mouth. "I'm so sorry! I have no idea where that came from!"

 

The family stared bug-eyed at the demon before Lydia broke out in laughter. "Good one, Beej!" She managed to say between gasps for breath. 

 

Beetlejuice gave a weak smile, noticing the discomforted looks Barbara and Adam were giving each other. He quickly bussed his dish and placed it in the sink when the dead couple excused themselves together.

 

Barbara gave him a look of disgust when she left. Looking down, Beetlejuice saw that he was he subconsciously giving her the sex gesture, which prompted even more laughter from Lydia. 

 

"You really gave it to them, BJ!" She chuckled.

 

"Now the only thing that's left is giving them a BJ!" Beetlejuice snickered, much to his regret. He looked at the Deetzes, who were giving him a very worried expression. "I'm so, so sorry, I don't mean anything that I said, I swear!"

 

Lydia gave him a wink. "Don't get your panties in a twist, Beej." 

 

"I'd love to twist her panties." He said, gesturing to the attic with a thumb, before running hands through his hair.

 

"Lydia, stop provoking him!" Charles grumbled.

 

"What? He's doing this all by himself." She said, pointing to Beetlejuice. He smirked at Charles before popping a beetle inside of his mouth. Horror grew on his face when he realized what he did and he began vigorously washing his mouth out with water.

 

"Lydia, you know what you're doing. Our job," Charles said, lowering his voice to a whisper, "is to rehabilitate him. Encouraging this is not rehabilitating."

 

"Lydia dear," Delia budded in. "I know how much you miss this Beetlejuice, but we were given a task. Our job is to make sure this doesn't happen."

 

Lydia only grumbled and crossed her arms. "Gee, sorry guys. Wasn't like I was trying to make something feel a bit normal."

 

Beetlejuice yelped when Lydia grabbed his arm. She glared at her living parents as she left the room, dragging the demon behind her.

 

*****

 

Beetlejuice shifted uncomfortably on Lydia's bed as she looked for something in her drawers. Her room was a light brighter than he expected it to be, the walls a nice lilac with fairy lights hanging from the ceiling.

 

"Aha!" Lydia exclaimed, holding a small vial of something black. Upon closer inspection, it was a bottle of black nail polish. 

 

Looking down at his hands, Beetlejuice noticed that he had a very chipped coat of nail polish on his fingernails.

 

Pulling out a jar of Q-Tips, Lydia grabbed a bottle of nail polish remover that was sitting on her dresser. She hummed to the tune of a song unknown to Beetlejuice as she cleaned up his nails. 

 

"Y'know, Beej, you really kept your nails intact, consider the last time there were done was during our scare-fest." She said, looking up at him with a smile. It faltered when she saw his hair flash white as a dead expression crossed his face.

 

"Right, the mind-stuff." She grumbled. The raunchy jokes in the kitchen had gotten her hopes too high. She was glad for the reminder, however much she hated it.

 

Taking a paper towel, she wiped the demon's hand down to remove any remaining acetone.

 

Beetlejuice struggled to keep his hand still as she slowly but surely painted his nails. It felt like forever, and even longer when Lydia pulled out her hairdryer, but the end result was gorgeous.

 

Putting his hand out in front of him, Beetlejuice admired her work. "Lyds, this looks awesome."

 

Lydia froze, her shoulders tense. "Lyds?" She repeated to herself quietly.

 

"Oh, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you, I, uh, it just felt natural and-" Beetlejuice's babbling was cut off by a tight hug. He heard a couple of sniffs and realized she was crying.

 

"I missed you so much, Beej."

 

"I was only gone for the night." He stated, confused. Lydia let out a soft laugh.

 

"It was far too long."

 

"You're going to have to get used to it, cause I don't think anyone in the house, including myself, is comfortable with us sleeping in the same room," Beetlejuice said, a look of concern starting to settle. 

 

Lydia laughed and gave him a soft punch. "Ever heard of a joke, Beej?"

 

"Where'd you get the nickname from, anyway?" Beetlejuice asked. 

 

"Oh, uh, it, well." Lydia stalled. "It just seemed to fit, that's all."

 

"Oh," Beetlejuice said, nodding slowly. "I like it."

Chapter Text

"You have to be kidding me, Adam, you heard what he said! There is no denying that the old, old him is still there!" Barbara said in a harsh tone. 

 

She was pacing back and forth as Adam sat on their bed, looking through The Handbook for the Recently Deceased.

 

"He was actively trying to correct himself, Barbara. I don't think you can get anymore reformed with Beetlejuice than that." Adam grumbled.

 

"That's the point! What the same thing happens, but with his more violent tendencies? What if his bloodlust returns, and he can't stop himself?"

 

Adam put the handbook down and gave a very annoyed look to Barbara. "You're just being paranoid. He had control over himself, and the jokes were very brief. I doubt that he would ever lose control of himself in the way that you fear."

 

Barbara turned around and sat down on the bed next to him. "Adam, he tried to exorcise me. It, it was scary, the thought of dying, well, for real. It hurt, Adam." She whispered, holding his hand. 

 

Adam pulled away and stood up. "Maybe, you can think of him as a whole new person. He isn't the old Beetlejuice, Barbara."

 

Barbara grabbed the handbook and looked at the page Adam had bookmarked. "Spells." She muttered aloud. Looking up at her husband, she gave him a glare. "You were looking up spells related to Beetlejuice, weren't you?"

 

Adam whipped around and tried to grab the book. "I'm not done reading it!" He exclaimed.

 

Barbara pushed him away and bolted for the door, Adam hot on her heels. She practically flew down the stairs, the book clutched close to her chest. In her rush, she opened the first door she found, slammed it shut and locked it.

 

"Babs?!" Beetlejuice yelped, holding something close to his chest.

 

Barbara hissed. This wasn't the study. "Don't call me that." She grumbled, turning around. What she found surprised her.

 

Beetlejuice had a small, striped ukulele in his arms. "Sorry." He whispered, pulling in his shoulders like an animal of prey.

 

"Why do you have a ukulele?" Barbara asked, pointing at the misshapen instrument in his hands.

 

"Uh, playing it," Beetlejuice said bluntly.

 

"Where did you get it?" Barbara asked, distrust filling her voice.

 

Beetlejuice opened his mouth to reply, but then fell short in an answer. "I, honestly I don't know. It just kinda came to me I guess."

 

"So you stole it," Barbara said.

 

Beetlejuice's eyes widened with panic. "No! It's mine, I swear!"

 

Barbara looked at him skeptically. "Then play it."

 

"What?!" Beetlejuice exclaimed.

 

"If you were just playing before, why can't you play it now?" Barbara pressed.

 

"I was just tuning it, that's all," Beetlejuice admitted sheepishly.

 

"Then I'm telling Charles that you stole it." Barbara huffed, turning to the door.

 

"Wait! I, I guess I can play it." Beetlejuice exclaimed.

 

Giving a nervous glance to Barbara as she sat down on the edge of the guest bed, he slowly checked the strings to make sure they were in tune.

 

Taking a deep breath, he started strumming. It was a soft tune, somewhat repetitive. Barbara was about to cut him off when he started singing.

 

"You're, you're gonna be fine, on the other side,"

 

Barbara was pleasantly surprised at how, well, nice Beetlejuice's voice sounded. For being the audible version of sandpaper, it fit well with the song.

 

"I'll, I'll be your guide, to the other side,"

 

She watched as his shoulders slowly relaxed, and he shifted on the bed to find a better playing position.

 

"It's a lot of fun and games, laughing for days, and calling names,"

 

The ghost found herself slowly swaying to the tempo of the strums, astonished that Beetlejuice could play the ukulele at all, let alone this well.

 

"Down here there's no reason for shame, no reason for pain, no reason for blame,"

 

Confidence was now fully-fledged in his performance. His posture was strong, no questioning in his voice, no hesitation with his strums.

 

"I'm here to help, help you on your way,"

 

Barbara closed her eyes, a sense of peace washing over her. A bit of drowsiness aswell.

 

"I'll be there for as long as it takes, even if it takes days,"

 

Beetlejuice began tapping his foot, raising the volume of his voice.

 

"I'll, I'll be your guide, sure it's a rocky ride, to the other side,"

 

Smiling, he gave a bit more with his strums.

 

"But you'll be fine-"

 

Beetlejuice jumped as loud knocking interrupted him. "Barbara, I know you're in there!" Adam called. 

 

Barbara leaped to her feet, book in hand. "Dammit, I should have read it when I had the chance." She grumbled.

 

"The Handbook for the Recently Deceased?" Beetlejuice asked. Barbara nodded.

 

Beetlejuice reached behind him and pulled out another copy out of seemingly nowhere. He handed it to Barbara with a smile. "Now you both get one."

 

Barbara looked at him, mouth slightly agape. She then swiftly turned around and opened the door, hiding the extra copy behind her back. "You can have it back, I'm done with it now." She said, handing Adam the original copy.

 

Peering over her shoulder, Adam saw Beetlejuice and his ukulele. "I thought I heard music. Never really thought Beetlejuice could play."

 

"I've only been here for three days and you guys are already assuming things about me?" Beetlejuice asked, a bit of sadness in his voice.

 

Adam gave a chuckle. "It's a long story."

 

"Well, it's not like I've got anything else to do," Beetlejuice explained.

 

Adam only smiled. "Maybe another time, Beej." 

 

Barbara gave a soft laugh at the exchange. She slipped past Adam and just about made it to the stairs before she heard tutting. Looking back at Adam, she saw him with his hands on his hips, a stern look on his face.

 

"Are you going to apologize for stealing my book and running off with it?" He asked. Barbara snickered.

 

"Only if you catch me first!" She said, before bolting past her beloved and storming down the stairs.

 

"Hey!" Adam yelped, before giving chase.

 

Beetlejuice peeked his head around the doorframe to check if anyone was there. When he was content with an answer, he closed his door, making sure to lock it, and resumed his song.

Chapter Text

It had started with the promotion. Charles had been placed in charge of a rather large housing project, and the family was ecstatic. Celebrations were in order, and preparation was underway.

 

Adam was busy manning the grill while Barbara tossed salad inside. The didn't know why they were safe on the back deck, but boy were they thankful. 

 

Beetlejuice was placed in charge of setting the table, a fairly easy task. He placed the tablecloth on the picnic bench the family owned, straightening it out when it hit him.

 

A smell, one that he hadn't smelled in a long time. And he hated it. A small headache formed in the back of his head, rapidly getting larger.

 

"Uh, Beetlejuice, why is your hair, doing that?" Lydia asked.

 

Beetlejuice reached into his hoodie pocket and pulled out a mirror, to Lydia's delight, and looked at himself. His hair was streaking purple, more of the color shooting up as he watched. There were tiny streaks of red and a dabble of black, all of it swirling around like a kaleidoscope. 

 

"I'll, I'll be right back." He stuttered, quickly shoving the mirror into his pocket and speed walking into the house. He hurried past Delia, who was examining a bottle of wine.

 

"Beetlejuice, are you okay?" She called.

 

Beetlejuice gave her a thumbs up before floating up the stairs and retreating to his room. Locking the door, he left out a sigh as his posture deflated.

 

What was going on? Why did he feel so, so awful ? The headache pulsed and he held his hands to his temples. 

 

It was that smell. He couldn't put a finger on it, but it was there. And it was far more than he could handle. A light knocking on his door pulled him from his thoughts.

 

"Yeah?" He called out, sitting down on his bed.

 

The door creaked open to reveal Delia, a bit of distress on her face. "Beetlejuice, are you alright?" She asked tentatively.

 

Beetlejuice gave a weak smile. "Yeah, just a bit of a headache."

 

Delia scooted over. She placed a hand on his, only for him to flinch away. "Beetlejuice, it's ok to talk about feeling you know. I may be an interior designer, but I can always be a life coach, or, well, after life coach for you."

 

With a hum, she pulled out her phone and started looking at shopping websites. "I heard from Adam that you enjoy writing. So, I was thinking, do you want to help me pick out a journal for you?"

 

"Not right now, maybe later though," Beetlejuice replied, his head feeling like it was about to split open.

 

"Alright," Delia said, standing up. "Feel free to join us when you're ready." 

 

Delia quickly left the room to leave Beetlejuice to his devices, her heels still echoing in the hallway. When she left, a bit of tension lifted from Beetlejuice. He curled up in his blankets trying to will away the blistering pain.

 

It was no use. After around thirty minutes holed up in his room, Beetlejuice decided it would be best that he spend his time with others rather than in the solitude of his headache.

 

Edging the door open, Beetlejuice slowly crept down the stairs. The smell was still there, even more prominent now. He tried to shake it off as he reached the bottom of the stairs. He slowly rubbed his temples as he reached the screen door that lead to the porch.

 

He slid it open and was greeted by a couple of smiles and waves. "Beetlejuice, you came back!" Delia exclaimed, a wide grin on his face.

 

Beetlejuice gave a brisk nod which he immediately regretted. He brought his view to the table, seeing most of the food already eaten and wine being poured.

 

Wine. He didn't know why, but it brought such, such distaste to him. He, he hated it, so incredibly so, yet he had no idea why. He leaned against the doorway, head in his hands as Delia rushed over to help him. That's when he saw Charles take a sip of his glass.

 

That's when everything went to shit.

 

An explosion of feelings entered Beetlejuice's head. Anger, sadness, pain, but most prominently, fear. He needed to get out, and he needed to get out now

 

He barely processed the explosion of the glasses and the wine bottle. He barely noticed the table splitting down the middle and the grill lighting ablaze. He couldn't be bothered to hear the screams of the family as chaos ripped apart their celebration. All he could focus on was Charles and the fact that he was slowly approaching him.

 

He spun around on his heels, dashing through the sliding door and through the living room. He found the front door and fumbled with the doorknob, hands so shaky he could hardly get a grip.

 

He could hear the rush, the clatter of everyone chasing after him. 

 

They're furious. You ruined their night, and why? Because you can't keep your fucking emotions to yourself

 

He almost ripped the door off of its hinges when he finally managed to open it. He almost fell with how fast he picked up a run.

 

He was out the door and stuck there. An invisible force, tethering him to the house.

 

No no no no no. I need out, I need out!

 

As the sounds of the family approaching grew in volume, he grabbed his hair and pulled. Turning back to the house, he rushed back to the stairs, shoving away Lydia and Adam as he did so. He tripped on the top step and scrambled into the first room he could find.

 

It was Charles's study. Great. With speed he had never felt before, he locked the door and propped up an office chair against the handle to jam it shut. 

 

Now that he was alone and safe, his thoughts only wrought more havoc on his mind.

 

You saw them. You saw how angry they were. You really fucked up, didn't you?

 

Tears were streaming down his face as knocks began to echo in the study. He heard muffled shouts from the outside of the door, followed by more knocks and what sounded like broken glass.

 

You ruined everything.

 

Beetlejuice dug his nails into his arms, crossing them over his chest. He sank down against the wall with the door, and to his agonizing displeasure, began to sob.

 

*****

 

"What are we going to do?" Delia asked, sweeping up the vase that had shattered after Beetlejuice's run through the hall. 

 

"The door won't budge, and I doubt anything in the house could break it," Lydia stated. Glancing over at Adam, a look of concentration crossed her face. "Adam, do you think you could faze through the wall?"

 

Adam groaned and put a hand to his forehead. "Lydia we've gone over this. It's extremely uncomfortable and it takes a lot of energy to do."

 

"Well, I don't think we can bust down the door, Barbara is currently occupied with the fire on the deck, and the only other ghostly being in the house is the one who caused all of this. You are the only one who can get in there to calm him down." Lydia said, tapping her foot.

 

Adam opened his mouth to object, but when the sound of muffled sobs started coming from the study, he hesitated. After pondering it for a minute, he gave in. "Fine."

 

With extreme caution, he took a deep breath and pushed himself through the wall that separated the study and the hall. 

 

He tumbled into the room with a yelp from him and shout from Beetlejuice. They both jumped up at the same time, widely different expressions on their faces.

 

Adam was shocked to his core at the state that Beetlejuice was in. His eyes were red-rimmed and eye bags were prominent in his deathly pale face. His hair was a mess, and instead of a scary rainbow of colors, it was pitch black, white flickering on the tips and roots. Like the spell was trying to erase this from his mind, but just couldn't.

 

When Beetlejuice finally registered what had happened, he let out a broken cry and grabbed at his face. "I-I, I'm so s-so sorry, pl-please just, don't just, can't, I can't, just please!" He cried, his words falling apart the more he rambled on. 

 

"Shh, shh, Beetlejuice, calm down. I'm not mad." Adam hushed.

 

"B-but your always mad! You're supposed to be mad, why aren't you m-mad! You, y-you drink and you get mad and you, you yell and you scream-m and you hurt and it hur-rts and I don't wa-ant to hurt anymore!" Beetlejuice yelled, his voice breaking off at the end as he struggled to keep himself together.

 

"Beetlejuice, that's what you're scared about? None of us are going to hurt you, we promise!" Adam reassured, slowly taking steps to the shaking sobbing mess that was Beetlejuice.

 

"That-at's what you always say. You say th-hat it's fine to f-feel. 'W-why don't you op-pen up to me? I'm you're fr-friend, I'm y-your pal!'. Well, y-you can't trick me this time!"

 

"Beetlejuice, where is this coming from? We promise that you're safe here!" Adam pleaded. Beetlejuice noticed his movement forward and took a couple of steps away, his back pressing up against the opposite wall of the room.

 

"You, you lie to me a-and you h-hurt me and y-you tr-rick me and, and, and I w-ont fall for it any-anymore! I, I-I can't do this anymore!" Beetlejuice screamed, hands shaking as he looked down at the floor. "Y-you can't do this to me, mom." He added in a broken whisper. 

 

"Beetlejuice-" Adam started, cut off by his own shock. His mother? She seemed awful when Adam had first met her, and probably last seen her, but he only assumed that she was a bit grumpy all the time and had been particularly ticked off that day. Beetlejuice killing her just seemed to play into his ruthless, homicidal tendencies. He had never actually thought that she- oh God.

 

"Beetlejuice, she's not here. She can't hurt you. You're safe, I promise." Looking around, Adam slowly sank down to the floor, crossing his legs. He patted the space next to him, which Beetlejuice correctly assumed was an invitation. The demon nearly collapsed in against the wall, curling his legs in and hiding the majority of his face behind his knees.

 

"I need you to calm down. Take a couple of deep breaths, and tell me what's going on."

 

Beetlejuice took in a ragged deep breath and began to speak in a slightly calmer manner. "I, she, she came home one night. It, I, I should have known. I should have known it was a trick, but, she, it was the first time in years th-that I heard her say, say, s-say that sh-she loved me and, an-nd I couldn't say no. B-but it, it was a trick an-d she t-tricked me an-nd h-urt and i-it hurt it h-urt s-so f-fu-cki-ng m-mu-ch A-d-dam a-"

 

"Deep breaths, remember?" Adam cut in, trying to keep the demon from spluttering on any more for both of their sakes. His hair was like a strobe light, flashing from white to black so quickly it almost blurted into a deathly grey. Scooting up closer to Beetlejuice, he placed a hand beside him. "Do you want to talk about it? You don't have to if you don't want to."

 

Beetlejuice looked at him, another onslaught of tears bubbling up in his eyes and it broke Adam's heart. All he could think about was when Barbara comforted him after stressful days at work, often with hugs. And for some reason, some awful reason, he thought it would help Beetlejuice.

 

He should have realized that he flinched away from contact. He should have realized that unless he initiated it, Beetlejuice hated being touched. He should have realized that his number one priority was getting away from others as fast as possible.

 

But he didn't, and now it was too late.

 

As soon as Beetlejuice realized that Adam was going in for a hug, he scrambled for an escape. But Adam caught him and held him close, not letting him escape. He fought and scraped and pushed, his panic and anxiety rising, but Adam wouldn't give.

 

There was only one choice he could think of. One solution on his mind. 

 

Beetlejuice bit down on Adam's arm. And he but down hard. Blood was drawn almost instantly and Adam let out a scream. Beetlejuice practically flew underneath the desk in the study and curled up into the smallest ball imaginable, violently shaking.

 

Adam looked down at his arm, frozen with fear as he watched himself bleed. He was bleeding . He hadn't bled since he had died, why was he bleeding?!? Why so much, why was it black, why did it hurt like all hell?!? 

 

What was happening?!?

 

As Adam watched Beetlejuice tremble underneath the desk, an idea popped into his head. With more effort than what seemed reasonable, Adam hoisted himself up and shuffled over to the computer on the desk. Typing in the password, he pulled up a video site and quickly searched up ukulele music. Clicking on the first video that appeared, he set it to loop before plummeting to the floor in a light-headed mess.

 

*****

 

Adam awoke to the sound of music and the feeling of another body on his. Glancing over, he saw Beetlejuice curled up beside him, eyes wide open as he watched the door. Sounds of shouts and the shuffling of footsteps could be heard from the hall. 

 

He groaned, looking down at the bite on his arm. The entire floor was soaked with an eerily dark bloodstain, as well as his arm. The bite still stung, as if it were just as fresh as it had been when he was first bit.

 

Beetlejuice realized Adam was awake and saw him looking at his wound. He scooted away from him to give him some room, cautious with his every movement. 

 

"I, I-I, Adam, I'm so sorry..." he whispered, regret clear in his eyes. 

 

Adam slowly nodded, his dazed mind preventing him from having any clear thoughts.

 

*****

 

"He's been in there for over an hour! We have to get him out of there!" Barbara hissed, pointing angrily at the study door.

 

"It could frighten Beetlejuice," Lydia said, leaning against the wall.

 

"Why should I care about whether or not it frightens Beetlejuice? He was the one who blew up for no reason and nearly exploded the deck!" Barbara complained, throwing up her hands.

 

Lydia had a sharp intake of breath. "Barbara, Ju-" she paused with a sigh, "his mom was an alcoholic." She whispered.

 

Barbara's eyes widened as she covered her mouth with her hands. "Oh my God." She mumbled, turning away from the door. "She was that bad?"

 

Lydia slowly nodded, eyes glued to the floor. Barbara ran a hand through her hair and took a deep breath.

 

"I'm going to go in there, but I am going to prioritize Beetlejuice's safety, or, him feeling safe, ok?" Barbara explained. Lydia gave a nod and Barbara turned to the door.

 

She gave three quick knocks. "Beetlejuice? I'm going to come in now, ok?"

 

With a deep breath, she pushed her way through the door and stumbled out onto the other side. She nearly screamed when she saw the scene before her. Beetlejuice was leaning against Adam, curled up into a ball with only his eyes and hair showing, shaking so much he almost looked still. Next to him was Adam, eyes half-lidded with one hand cover what looked like a bite wound, covered in suspiciously dark blood. 

 

"Oh my God, Adam!" She yelled, running over to him and picking him up. Beetlejuice shot up and scrambled into a corner, eyes wide with fear as he saw Barbara look at the bite.

 

She wanted to be mad. She wanted to be so incredibly mad. But she couldn't bring herself to be. She saw the fear in Beetlejuice's eyes, the way he watched her every movement so finely as if she was a predator moving in to strike. He was terrified of her, and it scared her to be seen like that by someone.

 

She half-carried-half-dragged Adam and herself away from the demon. "Beetlejuice, I'm not mad. I'm not going to hurt you. It's ok, you can come out of the study. None of us are mad at you."

 

"B-but, is Ch-harles there?" He asked, voice hoarse from tears.

 

"Yes, but Charles can leave if you want. He can go to his room." Barbara offered, taking Adam to the door.

 

Beetlejuice looked up, dried tears caking his face. "R-really?"

 

Barbara nodded, taking the office chair out from underneath the door handle and unlocking it with a click. Beetlejuice winced at the sound, before slowly standing up, shoulders hunched.

 

Barbara opened the door and was greeted by a wave of shocked gasps. "Oh my God, what happened to Adam?!" Delia exclaimed. 

 

Barbara scanned for Charles and narrowed her eyes. "Nothing against you Charles, but Beetlejuice won't come out unless you're in your room."

 

Charles had a bit of a shocked look on his face, but he quickly walked to the end of the hallway and entered his room. Turning back to the study, Barbara beckoned Beetlejuice with a wave of her hand.

 

He slowly shuffled out of the study, looking like a mess with wild hair, red eyes and the left arm of his hoodie stained with blood.

 

He sheepishly followed everyone down the stairs as they carefully maneuvered Adam to a safe location on the couch. Delia rushed off to the bathroom to find a first aid kit as Lydia went to grab a cloth to up the trail of blood.

 

Beetlejuice shuffled a little closer to where Barbara and Adam were and opened his mouth to speak. He was cut off by a green glow coming from the old Netherworld door in the living room.

 

Everyone jumped back. Barbara let out a little gasp and Lydia yelled out a question to ask about what was going on. The door slowly opened, green light tinting everything it touched. Out stepped an immaculately dressed Man with a somewhat messy hair cut and an ominous dark ring on his neck.

 

"Hello."

Chapter Text

The man was unusually tall, a dark ring around his neck, and had a crisp suit, almost too crisp compared to the dark bags under his eyes and his slightly frizzy hair.

 

With scarily grey eyes, he looked directly at Barbara with a tired smile. "Your first incident. That didn't take long. It's been what, four days? Five days? You broke him rather quickly!" The man joked with a dark chuckle. 

 

"Who are you?" Barbara asked her voice a bit shaky. 

 

"I," the man said, giving his sleeve a quick tug into place, "Am Richard Brown, head of operations when it comes to a certain demon's revamping and rehabilitation."

 

Barbara scowled. "So you're the man who dumped Beetlejuice onto us?"

 

Richard glanced over at the demon who currently had flashing white hair and a dead expression. "I originally proposed that we gather up all the psychiatrists we could find to work on him, but the Council said it would be a waste of resources. So, technically I'm not the one who gave him to you as a responsibility."

 

The blonde gritted her teeth angrily. "But you still had a hand in it?"

 

He waved his hand in a dismissive manner. "That's beside the point. What I need to know is what you did. What triggered him? What caused him to snap? We spent a lot of time and resources breaking him into that," he explained, haphazardly gesturing in Beetlejuice's direction. "And we don't want all of that going to waste."

 

Beetlejuice blinked his eyes, a familiar yet distant sense washing over him yet again. The conversation was fuzzy, he could only remember bits and pieces. But it didn't stop him from remembering who was holding it. "Are you the one who gave me that note?"

 

Richard stopped dead in his tracks, his talk about information getting cut off. Spinning around, he turned to Beetlejuice with a devilish grin. "I didn't think you had it in you to remember me. You were quite buzzed up the day we sent you out."

 

"Buzzed up?" Beetlejuice asked. Before Richard could answer, Lydia stepped the living room. 

 

"So if I've heard correctly, you're the man responsible for Beetlejuice's 'editing"? Lydia asked, malice dripping from her words. 

 

Richard smirked. "I was not the person who actually conducted the procedure, but it was wholly my idea."

 

Lydia walked over to Richard and grabbed him by the throat, lifting him to his toes. "You are going to undo it this instant and there is going to be no more messing around with him, you hear me?" She hissed through clenched teeth.

 

Richard had a half bemused, half annoyed look on his face. He gently took Lydia's hand and peeled her fingers away from his neck. "Careful around the bruise, doll. Scars can hurt in other ways than physical."

 

"Don't call me 'doll'." Lydia snarled. 

 

"To answer your question, you already know how to, if you read the letter that is. But I wouldn't recommend it, he might be a bit, angry when he remembers everything." He said in a somewhat cartoonish voice, bending down with his hands on his knees to meet her eyes. Lydia scowled.

 

He stood up, gave Lydia a quick tap on the nose with his finger, and swiftly turned around to meet Barbara's eyes. "So, are you going to answer my question now that I've answered yours?" Richard asked. 

 

"He was set off by seeing Charles drink wine, or, well, probably just alcohol in general," Barbara answered meekly. Richard's cocky smile disappeared and was replaced by a look of worry.

 

"Alcohol. We spent so long on that!" He announced to himself, pacing back and forth in the living room. "Countless hours of him being subjected to pro-alcohol propoganda and being hypnotized. I think it was, yes! It was exactly 167 hours of him in that room while we worked on his methyphobia. We fixed it, I swear we fixed it! God, if that didn't work, the other parts must be falling apart!" He marched up to Barbara and jabbed a finger at her chest. "What else has happened?! Where else has the old him slipped through?!?"

 

Barbara took a step back, revealing a very sickly looking Adam to Richard. He looked at the bite wound which was puffing up and nearly screamed. "Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck!" He muttered, running hands through his hair, messing it up even more. "Is that bite from Betelgeuse?!" He asked, panic shredding any reason from his voice.

 

"Yes-" was all that Barbara managed to squeak out before Richard let out a shout of anxiety. 

 

He looked over at Beetlejuice, anger bubbling up. "Why in the ever-living FUCK would you ever do that?!" Richard roared. Beetlejuice shrank back, doing his best to hide behind the couch. By this point, Charles had bolted to the top of the stairs and Delia to the doorframe, a first-aid kit in her hand. Pinching the bridge of his nose, Richard beckoned Lydia over with a single finger.

 

"Doll," he said, waving away Lydia's correction with his free hand. "Would you be a dear and say 'Carol' three times in a row for me?" Lydia grumbled but a sparking glare from Richard shut her down.

 

Lydia looked around at Charles and Delia, who both remained silent, before opening her mouth to speak. "Carol, Carol, Carol." She spoke, before a sparkle of purple and a flash that left the smell of lilacs filled the room.

 

Delia let out a scream and Charles gasped at the worryingly young-looking woman with short brown hair who was in the middle of the room. Her eyes opened, flashing a brilliant hazel in the room. "Richard, I was in the middle of a check-up!" The girl exclaimed, throwing his hands in the air.

 

Richard spun his finger around, singling for her to turn around while he jotted something down with a pen in a notebook that seemingly appeared from nowhere. The girl obliged, but not without complaint.

 

"Richard I'm not a dog, I-" she was cut off when she saw the bite wound. "Oh my God, was he bitten by a demon?!" She exclaimed, covering her mouth with her hands in shock. Richard nodded darkly, a look of deep regret crossing his face.

 

"Madalyn, I need you to take him to the hospital. If he stays here he'll die." Richard demanded, never looking up from his notebook.

 

"But Richard, he'll need a permit to return! You know how long the list is!" Madalyn exclaimed. Barbara's eyes widened with shock, too scared by the realization of how dire the situation was to talk. 

 

Richard sighed and took a break from writing. "I have a couple of favors I can cash in to get him back." 

 

"Richard!" Madalyn yelled as she started to shift Adam into a different position.

 

"If we don't he'll die!" Richard yelled, pointing his pen at her. She only sighed and picked up Adam, which won a shocked look from everyone in the room besides Richard and Madalyn herself. Richard stepped away from the outline of the door and gave it three quick knocks. It opened and the familiar green light spilled into the room.

 

The two ghosts walked in and the door and it promptly closed behind them before anyone could gather their thoughts and try and stop them.

 

Richard looked back at the family, scanning for a certain green-haired demon. Except his hair wasn't green, it was black and purple, both colors mixing and swirling together as he pressed himself into the corner by the fireplace, hiding his face.

 

"Is he often like this?" Richard asked rudely, gesturing to Beetlejuice with his pen. He had nearly tucked the notebook into a pocket on the inside of his suit jacket, but a single sheet was still in his hand.

 

"No." Lydia snapped, clenching her hands into fists. "He was just fine before you got here. Before you yelled at him."

 

"Doll, he had just bitten your friend after a panic attack induced by seeing someone drinking alcohol. He was not fine before I got here." Richard retorted, walking over to the teen. Bending over by the waist, one hand behind his back, he handed her a sheet of paper. "I'm sure after the whole ordeal with the demon over there, you'll know what this means."

 

"Draxus?" Lydia read aloud. "Your middle name?" She asked.

 

Richard nodded before standing up straight. "Don't even think about trying that with the Maitlands, Doll. They won't be seen by others, it will only cause lots and lots of pain. It requires a permit to function properly."

 

Lydia cocked her head. "Then how come it works for Beetlejuice?" She inquired.

 

"Fraud." Was all Richard responded with. Figured. "Only use it in emergencies regarding him. Otherwise, keep me out of it. Now, if you excuse me, I must return to the Netherworld. I have a fuckload of paperwork to attend to, thanks to a certain demon who couldn't keep his mouth shut." He leered at Beetlejuice who still hadn't moved. 

 

He knocked three times, a wave of certain anger ringing from the sound of his knuckles on the wood. The door opened and he quickly entered, the door violently snapping shut behind him. 

 

Barbara gaped at the where the door once was, hands shaking. "Did that really just happen?!"

Chapter Text

The rest of the night was blurry. Flashes and snippets of a conversation after Adam was- wait, where was Adam?

 

Beetlejuice's head pulsed with pain as he struggled to pull details from his memory. He felt, different. New, yet the same. 

 

He didn't dwell on it too long before he changed into pajamas and curled up underneath his blanket in the bed. It would clear up in the morning.

 

*****

 

Charles was finishing up his morning coffee when Beetlejuice came downstairs. He thought it was some sort of joke at first, but a quick glare dismissed the notion.

 

He had headphones and a hoodie, both Charles suspected were subconsciously summoned due to their striped nature. They still have several bug-themed mugs in the cabinet that he left behind.

 

His hair was messily black in some places and he gave of a suspicious odor of Sharpie. His omnipresent eye bags were cartoonishly purple, likely done up with make-up.

 

It was, to say the least, an alarming get up. 

 

"Beetlejuice, you look, uh, different." Charles offered, scooting his stool away from the other man. He only offered a grumble in response.

 

Delia's humming could be heard before she entered the kitchen. She was taken aback by the outfit, but quickly stashed her questions after a bit of gesturing from Charles.

 

"Uh, hello Beetlejuice. A nice morning, isn't it?" Delia stammered. Beetlejuice looked up, now standing in front of the coffee machine, and scoffed. 

 

"Only you could say today is beautiful." The demon grumbled, the comment so vague Delia was unaware of the intention behind it. He pulled a mug out of nowhere, yet again bug-themed, and filled it up with coffee. Delia cringed when he didn't add anything to it before taking a sip.

 

Pulling up a stool to the counter, he nursed his drink while staring the couple down.

 

The room chilled as Barbara entered, giving a melodramatic huff at the sight of her demon companion. He narrowed his eyes and set down his cup. "Got a problem with me?" He asked, almost impossible to take seriously due to his whiny tone.

 

"Yeah I got a problem with you. I got a problem that you sent my husband to the Netherworld because you had a little temper tantrum." Barbara hissed.

 

"Making up lies now, huh." Was all Beetlejuice had to offer. Barbara narrowed her eyes.

 

"Remind me to kill Richard the next time I see him." She growled before standing up and walking out of the room. 

 

It was Lydia's time to enter the kitchen. Her eyes were red-rimmed and hair messy, and seeing Beetlejuice in his new persona sent her over the edge. 

 

"Beetlejuice, you're joking, right?" She asked cautiously.

 

Beetlejuice sighed, pushing away a now-empty coffee mug. "Why can't anyone just leave me alone?!" He shouted to particularly no one.

 

Lydia pinched the bridge of her nose. "Draxus Draxus Draxus." She whispered underneath her breath. With a puff of smoke, Richard stood in the middle of the room, donut stuffed in his mouth. His eyes were wide and his dress suit was now replaced with a trench coat. Finishing off his donut, he leaned against the kitchen island to the protest of Beetlejuice.

 

"What do you need Doll, make it quick." He asked, his tone quite aloof for the words it carried. A small smirk grew on his face.

 

"I need you to fix him." Lydia said, pointing to Beetlejuice. Richard haphazardly suppressed a laugh and put on a shit-eating grin.

 

"Doll, that's your job. This is what we want you to fix." He said, leaning his arm against the island and placing his chin on his hand.

 

"You can't just make us do that! We need your help!" Lydia demanded.

 

"You have nothing to hold me here." The ghost said, pulling a pen from his pocket.

 

"I do. I know what makes you lose it, what make you unravel." The gothy teen threatened. Richard's grin faltered as his quickly search his mind for a comeback. After a solid second of awkward silence, he responded.

 

"You're observant doll, I'll give you that. But you weren't observant enough to realize that what makes me lose it isn't good for either of us." He said darkly, yet with a touch of humor left in his voice. Glancing back at Beetlejuice and the Deetzes, he gave a sigh of defeat.

 

"This is the ONLY time I help with his personality issues, got it?!"

Chapter Text

Richard looked over at the demon with disgust. "So, what do you want me to do?" He asked, his seemingly omnipresent smirk now thankfully gone.

 

"First of all, I need you to answer my questions," Lydia stated, stabbing a finger into his ethereal chest. He only raised an eyebrow. 

 

"And what would that be?" He asked, standing up and straightening out his back. 

 

"When will Adam get back?" Lydia inquired, following the scarily tall man to their fridge. He held up a finger and opened it, rummaging around before pulling out a container of blueberries. "What are you doing?!"

 

"Payment," Richard stated before popping a blueberry into his mouth. "I got enough cash as it is, and food is the only other shit I give a fuck about."

 

"But, that's our food!" Lydia protested. "You don't even need to eat!"

 

"Should have thought about that before making me clean up your mess, Doll." He said with a snicker before shoving a handful of the fruit into his mouth.

 

"It's not our mess! You're the one who did this to him!" The teen yelled, grabbing his tie and using it to pull him down to her level. He only smirked in response.

 

"Shouldn't have summoned him then." He placed a now-empty container of fruit in the garbage can and walked over to the cupboards.

 

"What was I going to do?! I had nearly jumped before, it wasn't like I had any other options!" She grabbed Richard's wrist, preventing him from reaching a bag of chips he had spotted. 

 

"Ah, yeah, I remember that. You were quite overdramatic back then." He chuckled.

 

Lydia gritted her teeth. "At least I didn't do it! You still went through!"

 

Richard's eyes narrowed, and Lydia had worried that she pushed too far. The serious face quickly broke away, though, being replaced by one of laughter. "Oh, you humor me doll. I died by my own hand, yes I will admit that. But it was nothing like your situation." 

 

"Well, how did you die?" Lydia asked, tone much softer than before. Richard had sneakily grabbed the bag of chips with his free hand and popped open the bag.

 

"Via hanging, duh," Richard explained playfully as he grabbed a handful of chips.

 

Lydia rolled her eyes. "Obviously. What I meant is, why did you do it?" Concern started to fill her voice

 

Richard shrugged. "Got desperate. Winter was hard and I just gave up, y'know?"

 

It chilled Lydia to hear him talk about it so casually like it was something he did on a day-to-day basis. It was, scary to say the least. That she could have ended up like him. So exposed to the thought of suicide it became a normality.

 

"So about Adam, he's currently in a hospital." Richard started, pausing as he chewed and swallowed. 

 

"A hospital? But, the Netherworld is for dead people, and it's empty! Where's the hospital?!" Lydia exclaimed.

 

"That, doll," Richard paused, glancing over at Beetlejuice, "was only the waiting room. There's a whole new level of hell awaiting beyond it. Well, level of the Netherworld."

 

The teen looked at the ghost with wide eyes. "Just the waiting room?" She shuddered, thinking about more than the infinity she saw during her trip to 'just the waiting room'.

 

"Yes. And secondly, there are more ways to kill a ghost than exorcism doll." He laughed slightly, winning at her.

 

Pointing a finger at Lydia, Richard finished off his chips. "Ok, question time is over. If you want more answered, just ask Betelgeuse later."

 

Lydia tilted her head. "Why would I ask Beetlejuice? You wiped him of his memory."

 

"Actually," he paused, picking a bit of food out from between his teeth. "Betelgeuse memorized every little detail about the Netherworld, and we didn't want that to go to waste. If the procedure was carried out correctly, he will be compelled to answer any question about the Netherworld and the afterlife."

 

"You're sick, you know that? Treating him like a tool?" She pushed a finger to his chest, daggers in her eyes as she started him down. He only yawned.

 

"You're attempts at intimidation are less than notable." Clapping his hands together, he turned to the now-gothy Beetlejuice. "Are we going to get to planning, or are we going to discuss your opinion on my business practices?"

 

Lydia followed his gaze to their resident demon. He was currently glaring down the Deetzes on the other side of the kitchen island, drumming his fingers on his empty mug.

 

"How do we break him out of this?" Lydia asked, wildly gesturing to him with one arm as the other rested on her hip.

 

He crouched down to her eye level. "With out time spent with him, his personality shifts seemed to be linked with his emotions. Not quite as finely as his telltale, but somewhat."

 

Lydia raised an eyebrow. "Telltale?"

 

With a click of his tongue, Richard pointed towards Beetlejuice. "Question for him, Doll."

 

"Do you think it has to do with Adam?" Glancing back at the island trio, Lydia saw that Charles and Delia left the room, leaving Beetlejuice to brood by himself.

 

"What else could it be? I mean, I guess there was his little alcohol tantrum." Richard chuckled to himself until he received a punch to the bicep from Lydia. "Fuck doll, it was just a joke."

 

She only narrowed her eyes in response. 

 

"So, if we can counteract his bad mood, we can revert him back to normal?" Lydia asked. Richard only put on a knowing smile. "Sorry, sorry. Forgot how annoying you are."

 

Walking over to the brooding demon, Lydia lightly tapped his arm. He only turned away from her, which elicited a sigh from the teen. "Beetlejuice, I know you want to brood and stuff, but I was wondering if you'd like to watch something with me?"

 

"I'm not going birdwatching, idiot." Beetlejuice grumbled. 

 

Lydia tilted her head. "Not birdwatching. Watching a show or a movie."

 

"A what?" The demon asked.

 

Lydia paused, mentally noting down one more thing in the 'Reasons to Hate Richard' list. "Come on, I'll show you."

 

Beetlejuice reluctantly followed her into the living room, sitting down lazily on the couch. She picked her way through the very cluttered coffee table and found the remote.

 

Beetlejuice nearly jumped out of his skin when the TV turned on. "That's what that's for?!? I thought it was decoration!" He exclaimed, clinging to the side of the couch. Lydia laughed.

 

"Yeah, now, what do you want to watch?" She asked, pulling up one of their various streaming services.

 

He watched with astounding wonder as she flicked through movies, eventually picking out on of her childhood favorites. 

 

He was totally engrossed in the movie.

Chapter Text

Beetlejuice laid down on his head, trying not to look at the bedside clock. He was angry. He didn't know what he was angry at, but he was angry never the less. But he was also scared.

 

Which was probably why he was angry. I mean, why was he so scared? There was nothing to be scared of. Besides sleep. But who the hell was afraid of going to sleep?!

 

He was. And he hated it. It had been a week since Adam was taken away. A week of him brooding around the house. A week since Lydia had been trying to improve his mood. A week of Barbara avoiding him like the plague. And a week of nightmares so bad they left him crying.

 

And that was pathetic. Who cried after a nightmare? Especially when they're a full-grown adult who knows that they aren't real?

 

But they felt real. Scarily real. Emotions too real to be fake. But they had to be.

 

The couldn't be anything else.

 

Because otherwise…

 

They weren't nightmares of him being chased by a monster or drowning in a lake. No, they were much, much worse.

 

Horrible dreams of him tormenting and scaring off the Deetzes and Maitlands. Him isolating Lydia from everyone else. Him tricking Lydia into exorcising Barbara. Him tricking Lydia into marrying him.

 

And acting like it was reasonable. That was the worst part. That, in those dreams, he felt like he was doing the right thing. He felt justified in doing such horrible things to others.

 

It felt right to do those things.

 

The thought of that scared him to no end. The thought of him being able to do, do that without a second thought chilled him to the bone. The lack of morals, the lack of basic human decency .

 

That's why he was layin down on his bed, staring at the ceiling and hugging a pillow. That's why he was up at two in the morning, stressing over falling asleep, but fearing for his exhaustion the next day. That's why he dreaded, oh so dreaded, that he maybe once felt that way. That he had actually done those awful, awful things.

 

Something was up with his mind. He knew it, there had to be. He was forgetting things. He was being forced to forget. There was something wrong with him. He was losing memories, things were being erased, things were-

 

Beetlejuice blinked a couple of times as a foreign yet familiar feeling washed over him. It felt, unnatural .

 

He tried to regain his previous train of thought but failed miserably.

 

To much of his future self's regret, he curled up, pillow still in his grasp, and closed his eyes.

 

It didn't take long for the familiar feeling of sleep to wash over him.

 

*****

 

"You messed with the wrong book now look what you've done!"

 

She was shaking, tears streaming from her eyes. The book still clutched to her chest. 

 

So weak, so helpless. A trembling, sobbing mess. And he felt angry at her. How could he be angry at her?!

 

"Alright, I'll do it!" She choked out, her voice cracking at the last word. "I'll marry you!"

 

The amount of joy surging through his chest was sickening. Why was he feeling this?!? He shouldn't be feeling this!!!

 

Despite all protests, a wicked smile grew on his face. 

 

He was happy. He was happy despite all the pain everyone around him was going through. How could he be happy?! 

 

Why was he so happy!?

 

Beetlejuice woke up with a shout, almost a scream. 

 

He heard the drops on the bedsheets before he could even process the fact that he was crying. 

 

He was shaking, white-knuckling the sheets in an attempt to stop. But it was futile.

 

Why did it feel so real? Why did it have to feel so real?!

 

All Beetlejuice wanted to do was forget. He was so good at forgetting, why couldn't he forget this?!

 

Why did this have to stick? Why this, of all things? What did he do to deserve it?

 

He didn't want to answer that question. Glancing over at his clock, he saw that it was only 4:32.

 

He had a long night ahead of him.

 

*****

 

Lydia woke to the sounds of shouting and slamming doors. Leaping out of her bed, she scrambled to the stairs. Apparently, everyone else had the same idea. Luckily, she managed to slip through the collision and stumble down the stairs to see a very confused ghost standing in the middle of the living.

 

"Adam?!" Lydia exclaimed, running over to him. She squeezed him into a tight hug, not quite noticing the bandage on his arm until he made a noise of pain.

 

"Oh, sorry!" She yelped, practically jumping away from him.

 

"It's fine." He said, adding a nervous chuckle at the end. The rest of the group was now in the living room as well. This included Beetlejuice, to a bit of Adam's discontent. He shook the thought away quickly. Beetlejuice never intended to hurt him.

 

The demon in question was standing towards the back, keeping his eyes glued to the floor.

 

Adam opened his mouth to call him over but was cut off by his wife. "Adam, oh my God you're ok!"

 

Barbara nearly tackled him, tears in the corners of her eyes. She was gentle, of course. Pulling away slightly, she cupped his face in her hands. "Are you alright?" She whispered.

 

Adam offered a soft nod in response. He leaned forward, giving a quick kiss on the lips. "How long was I gone?" He asked, a bit dazed.

 

"A week." Delia budded in, eager to say anything in the situation.

 

A week? It didn't feel like a week. It felt like, like, like…

 

Honestly, he couldn't put together how long it felt like he was gone. But he was glad to be back. And everyone else was glad as well.

 

"I missed you guys so much." He mumbled weakly.

 

The family collectively gathered close to him, wrapping their arms gently around the couple. Slowly, they swayed back and forth on their feet.

 

He smiled, enjoying the embrace of home. Everyone was here. Everyone was safe. Everyone was happy.

 

Everyone except a particular demon who slipped upstairs, crying softly to himself on his bed.

Chapter Text

It had been a couple of hours since Adam returned. He as quite dazed and spent most of the time back in the attic with Barbara. Which left the Deetzes to their own devices.

 

Delia had dragged Charles off to go clothes shopping and left Lydia alone. Lydia, who was currently looking for Beetlejuice. He wasn't in his room, not that she had invaded his space. No, you could tell if he was in his room because it would always be slightly colder in front of the door compared to the rest of the hallway. 

 

She dragged her hand against the banister, making her way downstairs. Turning the corner to the kitchen, she reeled back slightly in shock.

 

Beetlejuice was there, staring into oblivion as he slowly ate out of a jar of peanut butter. His face held a malcontent expression, one that quickly melted away when he saw Lydia.

 

"Hey." He forced, voice chipping away at the end.

 

"You summoned that, right?" Lydia asked, pointing to the open jar.

 

Beetlejuice flushed and pulled it out of sight. "Yeah."

 

Lydia briskly walked over to the island and leaned against it. Suspicion spilled into her gaze. "You doing alright?"

 

Beetlejuice jumped a little. He nodded lightly before sliding off of his stool. "Yeah, I'm fine." He said blandly. With uneven steps, he shuffled his way out of the kitchen.

 

"Beetlejuice, your hair is purple. You can't lie."

 

He paused and slowly turned around. Lydia becomes him with her hand and he complied. "What's going on?" She inquired.

 

"I, well, I'm having trouble sleeping," Beetlejuice muttered. "I, I keep getting these nightmares and, and, well," he nervously played with the hem of his shirt. "I hurt you. And the Deetzes and the Maitlands, and, it's scary. It's scary what I do and what you do and how I feel . That's, that's the worst part. I feel good . I feel ok with what I do…"

 

Lydia sighed sympathetically. "What do you do in these nightmares?"

 

The demon glanced to the side. "I should go," he mumbled as he shifted away from the island. 

 

"Beetlejuice…"

 

He sighed and paused, looking down at his feet. "I, I dream of me, me hurting you. I torment the Maitlands and I trick you while you were in a bad place, tricking you into marrying me . I-I nearly exorcise Barbara! And, and I feel good . I feel ok with it and-"

 

Beetlejuice turned around to see Lydia deathly pale. Her eyes glanced up and down the demon. He felt a constrictive grasp seize his chest. No, not here, not now .

 

Lydia saw him bolt up the stairs faster than she thought he could even move. She cried in protest, but it did nothing to stop him.

 

*****

 

Beetlejuice locked the door to his room as quickly as he could manage. Lydia was scared. Scared of him. Of what he would do. Of what he could do. He should have just kept it to himself!

 

God, why did he bring everyone into his problem? He just couldn't keep his damn mouth shut.

 

Before he knew it, he had his ukulele in front of him. A sheet of paper with scribbles of music on it sat beside him. His song.

 

Barbara had been far from the first to hear it. No, many had heard it before. He used to play it for newly-deads. No, it was special for her because it had been centuries since he played it.

 

With soft movements, he brought his fingers down on the strings. 

 

Minutes blurred into hours and before he knew it, the stars were out. He really wasn't doing well.

 

A sudden knock on his door pulled him from his thoughts.

 

"Beetlejuice, you've been in there for almost the whole day. We're getting worried about you." Adam's voice called, muffled by the door.

 

The demon quietly shuffled to the door and unlocked it, opening it slightly. "I'm fine." 

 

Adam gave a quizzical look. "You don't look fine."

 

Beetlejuice ran a hand through his hair. It was probably multicolored. "I am, I swear."

 

Sighing, Adam placed a hand on the door frame. "Well, if anything ever changes, the attic is always open."

 

"Uh-huh," Beetlejuice mumbled, making a move to close the door. He was stopped by Adam's hand.

 

"I mean it. Now, get some sleep. You look like you haven't slept in days."

 

The ghost walked away after he shut the door, leaving Beetlejuice alone with his thoughts. That was never a good thing.

Chapter Text

Adam tried to fall back asleep multiple times. He tried oils, noise machines, things of all sorts. But the ghost found that if he woke up, there was no falling back asleep. That was why he found himself silently floating down the hallway at two in the morning.

 

What he expected to happen was for him to meander about until the rest of the house woke up. He couldn't have expected anything further from reality.

 

He was slowly drifting his way to the living room to possibly try and read or quietly watch some TV when he heard a muffled shout. Adam quickly spun around to see that the cry came from Beetlejuice's dwelling. That couldn't be good.

 

The ghost paused outside of the door, listening for any more sounds from the room. When Adam felt that enough time had passed, he brought up his hand and gave a couple of short raps to the door.

 

There was a long pause before anything happened. Beetlejuice slowly opened the door, his hair a mix between black and purple and eyes puffy from what Adam could only assume to be tears. His omnipresent eyebags were now worse than before, which Adam didn't even think was possible. Overall, he looked awful, which was certainly how he felt.

 

"Woah, uh, Beetlejuice, are you ok?" Adam asked. It was a bit of a rhetorical question, as he was clearly not. Though, he would never admit that.

 

"I-I'm fine," Beetlejuice muttered. He quickly tried to shut the door, but his attempt was cut off by Adam, who held up his hand to stop him.

 

"No, you're not. What's wrong?" Adam inquired, more of a demand than a question.

 

The demon nervously gripped the door, eyes darting from side to side. "I had a bad dream. Got a little scared."

 

"Do you want to talk about it?"

 

The demon's gaze fell to the floor and lingered for a solid minute. Adam felt every second tick by. Slowly, Beetlejuice nodded and held the door ajar for Adam. 

 

Adam correctly took that as an invitation and entered the room.

 

The two sat down on Beetlejuice's bed, which was now bare as all the blankets were tossed on the floor. They were silent for a while, the air conditioning the only noise that could be heard. It was Beetlejuice who spoke first.

 

"I, well, I keep getting nightmares, but I already told you that." He rubbed his arm and looked down at the floor. "It's what's in the dreams that scares me."

 

Adam pursed his lips. He had heard Lydia mention something about Beetlejuice and his nightmares earlier in the day, but he never really got the full picture. He wished he had. "What's in the dreams?"

 

Beetlejuice took in a shaky breath before continuing. "I, well, uh, it's me. Me and you guys, shit that isn't specific. It's me, me terrorizing you. Like, possessing you and Barbara, scaring Charles' dinner guests, manipulating Lydia, almost exorcising Barbara, and  forcing Lydia to marry me! " He ran his hair through his violet hair. "And, it, it, it feels so real! It feels like a memory, or, like, a prediction, or  something! "

 

He stood up with trembling legs and started to pace around the room. "And, it felt  good,  like, I felt good doing it and I wanted to do it again and-"

 

He looked back at Adam, who was now white as a sheet. "It did happen, didn't it? Oh god, I actually did that, I actually did that!"

 

Adam lept to his feet and frantically waved his hands. "No, no it didn't, Beetlejuice you're fine! I, uh, I just got scared at the thought, that's all!" He exclaimed. Beetlejuice sank to the floor, pulling at his now jet-black hair, and Adam had to force his hands to his side to prevent himself from reaching out to the demon.

 

"I did that, I did that, I did that, I-"

 

"Beetlejuice, you didn't do that!" Adam hissed a little too loud. The demon froze and looked back up at the ghost.

 

"Are you sure?" Beetlejuice whispered, almost inaudible.

 

"I'm sure." Adam reassured.

 

Slowly, Beetlejuice stood up and shuffled his way back over to the bed where Adam sat. He stood there for a second as Adam waited for him to do, well, anything really. To much of his surprise, Beetlejuice almost fell on top of Adam and wrapped him in a tight hug. He sobbed into Adam's shirt, roughly gripping the back of his flannel. He felt a rush of adrenaline and fear course through him

 

Adam froze for a couple of seconds, before slowly bringing his arms up to return the hug. He rubbed circles on his back and slowly brought his hand up to card his fingers through the swirling black hair. 

 

Beetlejuice continued to sob as Adam did his best to comfort the demon. His hair blurred from black to purple to dark green, the tips and roots flickering white. Eventually, the white overtook his head, and Beetlejuice stiffened. Adam paused alongside him.

 

Then, he let out a snore. Adam relaxed, but only for a second when he realized he was now trapped by the demon.

 

Adam let out a soft chuckle as Beetlejuice continued to slumber in his grasp. This was going to be a long night.

 

*****

 

Lydia felt awful for her reaction towards Beetlejuice's confession. He spilled his fears towards her, and she scared him away. Maybe that was why she was up at five in the morning, making breakfast for both him and herself. Delia would probably just put some frozen waffles in the toaster for everyone else, anyways.

 

She whisked together the milk and eggs, bacon on the frying pan for the omelets. She realized that it would probably be cold by the time Beetlejuice came down for breakfast, but she had already gotten this far.

 

Lydia thought she remembered him mentioning something about how he enjoyed ketchup on his eggs, so she had brought the red bottle out. She hoped this was enough to cheer him up. Lydia got too nervous thinking about what would happen if it wasn't.

Chapter Text

Adam shifted around as the ambiance of the Deetz/Maitland house greeted him. When his eyes fluttered open, he found two things very wrong with his surroundings.

 

  1. He was not in his bed, or even the attic. No, he was awkwardly laying against a pillow in Beetlejuice's room, limbs splayed out around him.
  2. Beetlejuice was awake, floating, and staring at him with a very suggestive half-lidded gaze.

 

The ghost let out a yelp of surprise as he flailed his arms. The whole scene ended with him on the floor and Beetlejuice giving a very unnerving laugh. "Wh-what?!" Adam stuttered as he adjusted his composure into that of one far more suitable for this encounter. 

 

"You woke up," Beetlejuice stated non-chalontly. He flipped over from his stomach to his back and started examining his nails. A soft look of disgust crossed his face, which was odd because his nails were impeccably clean. 

 

Then Adam rethought things. "Holy sh- oh gosh, yo-you remember!" Adam screamed, hands white-knuckling the bedsheets. Beetlejuice flashed in an expression of confusion.

 

"I dunno what you think I remember, but unless it involves you with less clothing, I don't want to hear it."

 

"The w-wedding, and, and Lydia and the, oh gosh, the exorcism!" The ghost rambled. Beetlejuice paused, a flash of white blowing through his hair. Adam immediately calmed. "O-oh. I guess you're just going through another phase."

 

"Ugh, don't even try to 'phase' me. Makes you sound like a white suburban mom, and you're already a turn-off right now." The demon sighed, only half-joking. Adam made a small noise of disgust.

 

“I’m going, uh, going back to the attic.” Adam nervously announced. Beetlejuice rolled his eyes.

 

“Why do you gotta be so awkward all the time?”

 

“I’m a married man and you’re flirting with me. If you can even call that flirting.”

 

“If I remember correctly, it goes ‘’til death do us part’. Technically, you’re free game.”

 

Adam scoffed at the last remark, not even bothering with an answer. Unnecessarily dusting himself off, the plain clad ghost hastily stood up and made his way towards the door. He could still hear Beetlejuice most-likely catcalling him as he left, but he paid the demon no mind.

 

Apparently Adam roused with the rest of the house, as everyone else was now shuffling in an almost single-file fashion to the coffee machine in the kitchen. It looked like something straight out of a dystopian horror movie. Adam decided to make use of his supernatural abilities as a deceased being and just float down the stairs. 

 

He was met by Barbara in the kitchen, who was currently making french toast.

 

“Grandad’s recipe?” Adam inquired.

 

“Yep!” Barbara replied in a sing-song voice. She was oddly chipper that morning. That mood persisted throughout the entirety of breakfast until Beetlejuice came downstairs. Then that mood didn’t just dampen, it was extinguished entirely.

 

“Sup babs! You are not the only perky thing this morning!” the demon called as he floated into the kitchen. Barbara leaned in and whispered to Adam.

 

“Is this another one of his personality thing?” She asked. The strain was audible in her voice.

 

Adam nodded grimly. “He doesn’t remember, but it doesn’t really make it any better.”

 

Barbara, who was currently sitting at the kitchen island eating her food with a fork in one hand, knife in the other was white-knuckling the silverware. “Fun.” She hissed through clenched teeth.

 

“So babs, you got any left for me?”

 

“Don’t call me babs!” Barbara yelled. A faint flash of black filled Beetlejuice’s hair.

 

Adam sharply sighed. “Fun, certainly.” He muttered underneath his breath.

Chapter Text

The Deetz household was desert of all living residents, and all of those with the unfortunate of meeting death wasn't exactly socializing. Charles was off to work, Delia was off to shop, Lydia was off to school, and Barbara was off to brood in the attic. 

 

The return of a snarky, pervy Beetlejuice was not one that she quite rejoiced, and no one really blamed her for averting the demon as much as possible.

 

This, of course, meant that the only one capable of occupying Beetlejuice at the moment was Adam. The latter was currently rereading The Handbook for the Recently Deceased, casually flicking through pages. This one was the original copy, the one that Beetlejuice had produced from thin air somewhere in the attic receptacles, a place that Barbara was really the only one to use.

 

Beetlejuice had been not-so-secretly eating an old tube of acrylic paint in the kitchen, his face somewhat stained with smears of sleepy lavender, but now that the pigment was gone, he was once again left to stew in his own thoughts. He did not enjoy that in the least.

 

So, now, of course, the demon was pestering Adam for attention, not an unusual sight. "C'mon, hot stuff. Do something interesting. Y'know, like, be sexy or whatever." he said as he leaned on the armrest, opposite of where Adam was sitting.

 

Adam sighed and bookmarked his page in the handbook before snapping it closed. He placed it down on the coffee table and turned to answer Beetlejuice. "I would be more inclined to entertain you if you quit objectifying me."

 

The green-haired demon glowered and flopped down on the couch next to Adam. "Fine." Beetlejuice prodded Adam's cheek and sighed. "So, do you, like, know why Babs hates me so much?"

 

"I'm getting Deja vu," Adam replied, swatting away Beetlejuice's hand.

 

"Ugh, I know I've asked the question before, but I really want to know. I, I don't like her not liking me, if you understand." 

 

Adam internally weighed his options. On one hand, he couldn't exactly tell the truth in a way Beetlejuice could understand it; on the other, well, he had probably lied to the poor demon enough already. But, it wasn't like he would ever know…



One more lie couldn't hurt.

 

"There was a guy, a guy who looked an awful lot like you that she dated while in high school." the brunette started. "He, well, he was far from the greatest person, and you just kind of remind her of him."

 

Beetlejuice blinked a couple of times before breaking into a scowl. "So because Babs had a sour boy toy who happened to be as hot as I am, she hates my guts? Talk about a drama queen." Adam rolled his eyes.

 

"It's more complicated than that."

 

The not-so-recently deceased glanced over at his ancient counterpart. "If you'd like to get on her good side, I can help you with that."

 

Beetlejuice immediately perked up at that. "Really?"

 

"Really."

 

After a few beats of silence, Beetlejuice summoned a pen and paper, both appropriately colored to his striped white-and-black theme with small hints of green. "All ears, big shot."

 

"Well, you might want to get to know her a bit, or, at least, get to know her interests," Adam explained. "She really connects with people when she can talk about stuff she likes with them."

 

Adam smiled softly as Beetlejuice stared in annoyance. "Well, are you going to tell me what her interests are? "

 

The ghost jumped a tad. "Uh, sorry, right." He mumbled in apology before clearing his throat. " She enjoys pottery, although you probably already know that. Um, she, well she likes gardening. Especially when she gets to put the plants in little mini pots and-" Adam cut himself off when he saw Beetlejuice's miffed expression. "Ah, I'm rambling. Anyways, she enjoys painting. Oh, wait, no she doesn't. Maybe she-"

 

"Alright, Adam, you're getting nowhere here. I mean, it's nice that I now know that she enjoys gardening, but that's it."

 

The formerly mentioned flushed a tad and put on a look of distaste. "Well, maybe you could hold a solid conversation with her about gardening if you didn't cut me off."

 

It was now Beetlejuice's turn to be offended. "I didn't cut you off, that was yourself!"

 

"Well!-" Adam started, before taking a deep breath. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have gotten so defensive." The demon beside him gave a slow nod. "Well, uh, she enjoys trying new things. Nothing really sticks well, or, sometimes it does. Macrame stuck, but we quickly ran out of supplies. You see, that was one of our more recent adventures, we tried it out just before we died."

 

"And, uh, oh! She really, really likes Harry Potter, but, uh-" the ghost cut himself off not wanting to offend Beetlejuice once more.

 

"I suck at reading? It's fine, I fully embrace the fact that books are stupid and not worth my time." Beetlejuice joked.

 

"Beetlejuice! Books aren't stupid. You just don't appreciate them."

 

"Like you don't appreciate the taste of cement?"

 

Adam scoffed. "You said it yourself, cement is an acquired taste, however that may be. I honestly have no clue why you are so fascinated with drinking liquid rock."

 

 "Yeah, yeah, continue on." The demon replied with a wave of his hand.

 

"Barbara enjoys travel a lot. So many new places, and with those places things to try and see. She really enjoys Korean culture, along with the subway system in France. It really is quite efficient. Oh, and there was also that one time we traveled to Juneau-"