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You Get Hurt, I’ll Comfort You

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~Adam~

Sometimes Adam finds his anxiety becomes too much for him, and he just can’t figure out how to get his traitorous thoughts to settle down. Today was one of those unfortunate days. His mind kept making him doubt himself, he kept feeling like everyone was watching him, judging him. 

The worst part was nothing even happened to make him feel this way. The day was going on perfectly normal, a typical Saturday, in which the family was taking care of the garden, except for Beetlejuice, who disappeared off somewhere as usual. But for some reason unknown to him, Adam’s mind just kept on coming up with worse, and worse, and worse things, turning a simple response from Lydia into an irritated snap, a confused look crossing Delia’s eyes turned into that of bewilderment at how Adam could say something so stupid, Charles’ typically measured tone was turned into a clipped, angry one. The anxiety he was struggling with even affected Barbara. Her loving smiles and words were twisted by Adam’s thoughts, made to sound tired and put upon, as if she were only humoring him, hiding that she was actually tired of dealing with him. 

It made him feel small, like he was nothing but a pest that did nothing right. What were once simple mistakes, like putting mayo on a sandwich for Delia on autopilot even though she was vegan or handing Charles a pen when he needed a pencil, or spilling water on the table Lydia was working on homework at, suddenly seemed like disasters that he should’ve known how to avoid. He kept falling further into the awful spiral of self-sabotaging thoughts, and he couldn’t take it anymore. 

So he did what he always did in these situations. Run away and find something he could do right . The door to the attic was sticking. Maybe he could finally fix that… 

Adam left the family working in the garden, feeling like a dog running away with his tail between his legs, and dragged his tools out to set to work. Unfortunately, it seemed his mind wasn’t the only thing affected by his sudden bout of anxiety. His hands kept trembling, and he couldn’t figure out how to get them to steady enough to hold a tool properly as he looked over the old door. 

“Dammit!” Adam hissed when the screwdriver scraped uselessly against the screws holding the door hinges for the hundredth time, and he cast it away with a disgusted huff. His eyes followed the traitorous tool as it clattered and rolled across the floor until it disappeared under the armchair. He’d have to go retrieve it eventually, but right now he felt like sulking. 

“Whoa, someone hand out the bets, Adam Maitland has just said a bad word,” he heard a familiar rough voice chuckle, and Adam turned to see a Beetlejuice floating up through the floorboards with a wide grin on his dusty face. 

“Still hiding from helping the others?” Adam asked, unimpressed. 

“Hey, I don’t hide from anyone! I just had to remind my centipede farm who’s boss downstairs. Then I hear, my sharp ears pricked, the sound of something’s eternal soul being damned to hell by someone, and of course I had to come see what I was gonna be taking from where, and to my surprise it’s you, polite, ever kind Adam pulling such a fowl curse upon such a poor and innocent turnscrew!” Beetlejuice leaned forward and booped Adam’s nose with his sharp, black nails, his grin growing impossibly wider, his neon eyes crinkling up with delight. 

Adam batted the finger away, in no mood for the demon’s strange mind games. “I’m busy, so if you want to bug someone, try somewhere else,” he huffed, turning back to his toolbox and shuffling through it, hoping against hope that he might have another screwdriver somewhere inside. 

A snap sounded off, and suddenly the screwdriver Adam had tossed popped out of thin air and dropped on top of his tools. Adam blinked and looked up to Beetlejuice in surprise. The demon was sitting cross legged in the air, his eyes looking Adam over, like always, his smirk still fixed in place. 

Adam sighed, taking the screwdriver again. “Thank you… and I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped at you.” 

That made Beetlejuice take pause, unused to being thanked or apologized to. “It’s whatever. What’s gotten into your craw, A-dog? Never seen you so wired up before,” he asked, scooting closer and leaning into Adam’s space. The ghost didn’t lean away like Beetlejuice expected, instead he looked down, shoulders hunching up. 

“I-It’s nothing. I’m fine,” he said lamely. 

“Uh huh.” Beetlejuice sounded unsurprisingly unconvinced. 

“Why don’t you go see if Lydia wants to pull a prank or something? I don’t think I’m going to be any fun to hang around right now,” Adam said tiredly.  

“I don’t wanna hang out with Lyds right now. I wanna hang out with you, nerd.” 

Adam looked up to the demon in surprise, who was looking away embarrassedly, and Adam felt his cheeks flush from hearing such an honest statement come from Beetlejuice of all people. 

Before Adam could continue to gape like a fish, they heard footsteps coming up the stairs behind the door Adam was sitting before. 

“Adam, honey? Are you in here?” Barbara’s concerned voice called out. 

“He’s in here, I got him held down!” Beetlejuice crowed, moving his finger and Adam found himself suddenly sliding over to the demon’s other side, out of the path of the doorway. 

“Beetlejuice no!” Barbara cried, pushing the door open. She paused upon seeing Adam bewilderedly staring at a still floating Beetlejuice and letting out a sigh. “Very funny,” she huffed, placing her hands on her hips. 

“Yeah I know, comedic genius I am. But Adam isn’t doing so hot, so I knew I had to do something,” Beetlejuice slowly started to turn in the air, moving to stare at the couple upside down. 

Barbara paused at that, and looked over to Adam confusedly. “So, there is something wrong?” Her concern was returning. 

“I’m fine,” Adam replied automatically. 

Barbara frowned. “Adam, you’re shaking,” she pointed out, crossing her arms. 

“I just… I guess I’m cold or something, it’s not like I can ever feel heat,” Adam refused to look at anyone else anymore, his gaze instead fixing upon his old toolbox. The weathered metal was almost completely stripped of its paint, but there were still specks left, hanging on determinedly after all these years. 

He heard Barbara step closer to him, her dress rustled as she sat down next to him and carefully reached out, putting a hand over one of his. “Do you want to talk? You know I’m always happy to listen,” She asked. 

Adam let out a shaky breath. “Honestly? I’m not sure I can do that without messing that up, too,” he replied. 

Suddenly he had another weight leaned around his other side, Beetlejuice slinging an arm around his shoulders while examining his nails. “Well if you want I can talk for you. I’m pretty good at talking, some might even say too good,” the demon grinned, side eyeing the couple next to him. 

Barbara shot him an fondly exasperated look, but before she could say anything Adam’s shoulders began to shake, and he began to snicker. “You’re definitely not wrong,” Adam said, pulling his reading glasses off and wiping the frames with his shirt. 

“There he is, the sexy smiling devil I know and love! Leave the whole sad sulking thing to Lydia, she’d be pissed if she knew you were trying to dig into her gloomy territory,” Beetlejuice grinned. 

“Don’t let her hear you say that, she’ll try and turn it into an actual line of work,” Barbara smiled. 

“You’re right, if I wanna keep her as my scare apprentice, I gotta make sure she never realizes her full potential in the sad department,” Beetlejuice nodded seriously. 

“For everyone’s sake, please do not take Lydia as your apprentice. You both are menace enough already, we don’t need it to get worse,” Adam chuckled, setting his cleaned glasses back on the bridge of his nose. 

“Only if you make it worth my while. She’s a damn good bio-exorcist, and you two won’t exactly be able to pick up the slack. You’re both incredibly sexy, but neither of you are anywhere near a decent level of scary,” Beetlejuice replied as he sat back, setting his weight back on his hands behind him. 

“We’ll pet your hair for twenty minutes,” Barbara said simply. 

“Welp! It was fun teaching Lyds while it lasted! I’ll make it up to her later, probably let her use my levitations as a prop for tomorrow’s photos. Now pet me,” Beetlejuice flopped over before the Maitlands, crossing his arms behind his head as he went and stared at them both expectantly. “Please,” he added, looking away embarrassedly. 

The couple exchanged a pleased look, and they both started to indulge the demon. He purred instantly at the touch, squirming into a comfortable position, seemingly unaware that his hair became a lovely shade of magenta. Adam and Barbara shared amused looks, and neither could deny that Beetlejuice looked rather adorable now. Barbara began to chat about nothing and everything, telling the other two about the plants that somehow were already sprouting on their own in the garden, like the ever wily tomatoes they constantly tangoed with. 

Time passed, and Adam realized he was in better control of his thoughts now, and his lungs had started to decompress. He seemed to be able to match his breath with the slow rise and fall of Barbara and Beetlejuice’s chests now, and his hands were steady as they ran through Beetlejuice’s hair. 

“Feel better?” Barbara asked, shooting Adam a small smile. 

“Yeah. How… how did you two manage that without me even knowing?” He asked, an amazed smile starting to twitch his lips up. 

“We’re highly skilled in Adam whispering,” Beetlejuice said from the floor, his eyes still closed as he simply relaxed, without being petted now. 

Adam couldn’t help but chuckle as he looked between the two. Beetlejuice was full of surprises, and even after being with her for so long, so was Barbara. He loved it. “Thank you,” Adam said. 

Beetlejuice grinned smugly, and Barbara beamed. “Of course, hon. C’mon, let’s go downstairs now and hang out with the Deetz. They missed you when you left,” Barbara stood up, offering a hand to Adam, and they both offered a hand to Beetlejuice, surprising him by not letting go as they started down the stairs to the rest of the family. 

 

~Barbara~

Barbara winced at the distant clatter of ice dropping from the fridge in the kitchen. Her head swirled with pain and dizziness, and she was becoming increasingly uncertain about her theory that ghosts didn’t throw up. 

Lydia quietly glided into the den and up to the couch Barbara was laid out on, setting the ice pack she prepared down next to Barbara’s head. “Here you go,” she said quietly, so as to not further disturb the pained ghost. Barbara shakily raised a hand to squeeze Lydia’s arm gratefully. 

“Thank you, Lydia,” she murmured, taking the ice pack and carefully applying it to her head. One mark on her head was burning, and she had to be careful not to let anything touch it. 

“Are you sure you don’t want me to get anyone?” Lydia asked once more, crossing her arms. The space between her eyebrows indented with worry. 

Barbara tried to shake her head, but quickly stopped when a new wave of nausea hit. “No, I just need to rest, I think. I’ll be fine,” Barbara smiled reassuringly, but Lydia didn’t look convinced. 

“I’m sure Dad and Stepmom wouldn’t mind coming home early to help you out,“ Lydia slowly offered. 

Barbara waved that suggestion away. “There’s not much they can do for me right now. I‘m ok waiting until they’re off work,” she replied, closing her eyes. 

“I’ll leave you be, then,” the teen sighed in defeat, and left the den, closing the door behind her and leaving the room in dim lighting. 

The blinds had been drawn tight, letting only an inkling of light trickle through, so as to not further assault Barbara’s senses. Barbara settled further into the couch, pressing a hand against her closed eyes. The ice settled some of the pain thrumming through her skull, but it was still there, dully pulsing throughout her head. She groaned, wondering how long this could possibly go on for. A few moments passed, and still she was in pain. Seemed it was going to go on for a while… 

Distantly, Barbara heard voices speaking outside of the den. Familiar voices, one gentle and the other gravely. It couldn’t be, weren’t Adam and Beetlejuice busy in the Netherworld? Barbara struggled to understand this strange situation, when she heard a door opened. Footsteps padded over carpet, while immediately she felt a weight on the couch arm above her. “You look like garbage, Babs,” a voice croaked. 

Barbara opened her eyes to look up to Beetlejuice peering down at her. He was smirking as usual, but in his eyes, after months of getting to know him, Barbara saw the concern hiding in the neon glow of his irises. 

“I thought you two were called to the Netherworld,” Barbara murmured. 

“We were, but it wasn’t something too important,” Adam replied, coming into Barbara’s view. He and Barbara weren’t as keen on teleporting their bodies around like Beetlejuice was. 

“And Lyds told me you were in trouble,” Beetlejuice added. 

“Beetlejuice, she had us promise!” Adam cried, making Barbara wince, and Adam quickly whispered a quick apology. A surprisingly warm hand was cupped around the side of Barbara’s neck. She couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief at the sudden relaxing touch. 

“Seems like your old death injuries are causing you problems,” Beetlejuice noted, absentmindedly drawing a careful finger around the skin where Barbara assumed was the harsh bruise she gained that fateful day. She didn’t say anything about the gentle touch, enjoying the slight tickle on her skin that pierced through the pain riddled fog she was currently stuck in. 

“You need anything, hon?” Adam asked, crouching down next to Barbara. 

Barbara thought for a moment, working through her dizziness. “Well… since you’re here… I guess… would you stay with me for a while?” Barbara looked up to the two hopefully. 

Adam smiled, and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Of course,” he answered, moving down to where Barbara’s feet were resting up on the couch, and carefully lifted her feet up and moving to rest them on his lap as he sat down with Barbara. 

He ran a comforting hand along her legs, and Barbara sank further into the couch. She was still dizzy, in pain, but now, with Adam and Beetlejuice here, it wasn’t so bad. 

“God you two are sickeningly sweet. Well, I’m gonna head off then,” Beetlejuice began, his hand slipping away. 

Barbara quickly caught it and looked up to the demon with wide eyes. “Wait, I meant you too, you know. If you wanted,” she said. 

Beetlejuice froze and stared at her in surprise, then at Adam, who smiled invitingly back, then back to Barbara. Barbara then felt a wave of embarrassment, and retracted her hand while looking away. Adam squeezed her calf comfortingly. Maybe they had read all the signs wrong after all. “You don’t have to, of course. I know it’s boring, sitting around with me having a pity party like this.”

Two hands cradled her head now. Barbara looked up in surprise to Beetlejuice who looked back uncertainly, his legs crossed as he somehow sat perched upon the arm of the sofa. “Injuries suck, Babs, ‘s not some sort of ‘pity party’.” An extra pair of arms appeared to help him make air quotes, “I should know, got shittons of them. Just thought this was a you and Adam thing,” he shrugged, glancing away. 

Barbara and Adam exchanged a quick look, and Adam stretched one of his hands out to squeeze Beetlejuice’s arm. “I’m not sure how you haven’t noticed, but we like having you around, Beetlejuice.” 

“Having you both around makes me feel better,” Barbara said in agreement. 

“Oh. Huh. Not, uh, not used to that… I’m more used to causing pain, not fixing it,” Beetlejuice blinked, the tips of his hair brightening with pink. 

“Guess we finally gave you a new experience for once,” Barbara giggled, closing her eyes and settling in better, fully comforted by the other paranormal beings’ presence. 

“About time,” Adam agreed, leaning his head back. 

After a long moment, the two were lost in a sort of semi-sleep, while Beetlejuice continued to stare at them. “You always give me new experiences,” Beetlejuice said, too quietly for anything but possibly a creature from the abyss to hear. 

Movement in the doorway caught his eye. Lydia had finally reappeared, carrying a fluffy blanket with her. She gently draped it over Barbara and Adam, before sitting in front of the couch, carefully observing the two. “Snitch,” she whispered to Beetlejuice. 

“Told you I don’t keep secrets without getting something in return,” he replied easily. 

Lydia finally looked over to him, noting his hands cupping Barbara’s head, thumbs rubbing gentle circles on the ghost’s cheeks. She smirked, making Beetlejuice notice his actions. “Not a word Scarecrow.” 

“What’ll you give me in return, Juice?” 

Beetlejuice glared, his hair growing more pink. Lydia snickered, leaning her head back next to Barbara’s shoulder. “Stepmom is right. You’re in real deep, dear Beej.” 

“Yeah, yeah I am,” Beetlejuice sighed. He looked over the couple before him. Adam had taken Barbara’s hand in his, his entire body curled towards her. One could say he was also curling towards Beetlejuice, but they’d be dreaming. They’d have to be. Still, in the dim lighting, they were beautiful. Even if Barbara was pale from pain and nausea, and Adam had cobwebs still stuck in his chestnut hair from the impromptu Netherworld errand. “But I am a dumbass, and I just can’t stop myself.” 

 

~Beetlejuice~

Beetlejuice technically didn’t need to breathe. He was dead. His useless lungs didn’t seem to have gotten that memo though. They ached for air, making his gasp like a drowned man as Beetlejuice struggled to swallow a breath through the pain radiating from his side. The cold rain pelted him mercilessly, feeling like tiny icicles as it fell upon him in ceaseless droves. His clothes felt bogged down by water, and his side was killing him, covered in an unnatural, sticky warmth. ‘What a damn irony, this story starts like so many others. It was a dark and stormy night . So glad the author has so much creativity stored away,’ he thought to himself, pressing a hand tighter to his side. 

The Deetz-Maitland home towered above him as he trudged up the driveway, gravel crunching under his heavy feet. His thoughts were scattered, but he was still able to come to the conclusion that he probably shouldn’t enter through the front door, there was a rug running before it, and rugs were a pain to clean. Best to enter somewhere else. Beetlejuice paused in his trek, swaying in place as he considered his option of where to get inside. He wasn’t sure he could safely phase through any walls or doors in his current state, unless he wanted to get stuck between the walls. The back door would be locked, he wasn’t gonna crawl in through a window, or god forbid, knock

He came up with an idea, remembering the strangely random door leading into the attic on the roof. That was never locked, and the Maitlands liked to keep up a sleep cycle for some reason, so he could just go in through there without disturbing anyone so long as he was quiet. Perfect! 

Beetlejuice pictured the tiles and chimney in his head, pictured himself standing there, and felt the world around him begin to shift. It’ll be so nice to be inside, he’ll clean himself up, get into some warm clothes, maybe pester the Maitlands if they wake up early again. Speaking of the Maitlands, maybe he’ll take a quick detour in the attic, just to see the couple sleeping for a second. They always look so cute, cuddled together under their sheets, drooling and snoring just the tiniest bit, it made his heart drop heavy with... emotion. Forgetting what he was doing in the first place, Beetlejuice couldn’t help but smile as he lost himself in thoughts about the couple. The world changed around him, and he teleported. 

He did make it to the roof, fortunately. He didn’t teleport off somewhere randomly like he usually did when he lost his concentration. In fact, he saved himself a bit of a trip, teleporting right into the attic. Unfortunately, his thoughts of the Maitlands had made him appear where they were, and so Beetlejuice dropped down into the sleeping couple’s bedroom. 

With a loud crash, Beetlejuice fell to the ground with a cut off cry, his side feeling like it was almost splitting open. He distantly heard the couple startle awake at his abrupt arrival, but he couldn’t concentrate well enough to see for himself. All he could do was curl in on himself, trying not to black out from the fiery pain racing up and down his side. 

Feet touched down onto floor, and walked over to him. “Beetlejuice?” Barbara asked tentatively, and he felt a hand touch his shoulder. 

Adam gasped, “Oh my god, you’re bleeding!” 

Beetlejuice groaned, slowly coming out of his pain filled daze. “Astute observation, Sexy,” he said through gritted teeth. 

“What happened? You said you’d be back hours ago! Never mind, Adam, get me some towels, we need to stop the bleeding,” Barbara began to peel Beetlejuice’s drenched trenchcoat off his shoulders, but the demon batted her hands away. 

“M fine, you worry too much, Babs. I’m a demon, I don’t need blood. Just… just got a little roughed up in a guide job, you know? The guy wasn’t too keen on moving on, I guess,” Beetlejuice slurred, struggling to get to his feet. 

Firm hands pushed him back down. “Do not try to move. You hold still, and let us help you,” Barbara huffed. She clasped Beetlejuice’s hands down and turned to Adam, who arrived with a handful of rags and towels. 

“Adam, can you help?” She asked, blowing a strand of blond hair out of her eyes. The ghost nodded, setting the towels down and taking Barbara’s place of holding the demon still while she stripped the soaking wet clothes off. 

“Kinky! And you two left me here thinking you were so vanilla,” Beetlejuice chuckled, suddenly lurching back to blink slowly at the two. 

Barbara shot him an annoyed look as he tugged his jacket out of her grip and almost made Adam topple over from the sudden movement. 

“Beetlejuice! Hold still,” Adam said exasperatedly, sitting up straight to readjust his grip in the demon.  

Barbara finally wrangled his suit jacket off and gasped at the gaping hole torn through Beetlejuice’s shirt, leading to a wound leaking green tinted black blood. Nearly half of his shirt was stained from the blood, and even his pants had specks of blood staining the white stripes. “‘Fine’ my ass, look at you! You’ve gotten seriously hurt,” Barbara said angrily. 

Beetlejuice looked up at her and Adam with wide eyes, his mind dragged to a darker time from their angry tones, and he shied away out of Barbara’s and Adam’s grasp. “Sorry… sorry, I… I tried to do better… I promise, I didn’t mean to get hurt again,” he muttered, his eyes moving down as he refused to make eye contact. 

Barbara and Adam took pause at this, before sharing a quick guilty look as they realized what had happened. “No, no, it’s okay, Lawrence. It’s not your fault,” Barbara quickly reassured Beetlejuice, raising her hands up.

“We’re just scared, seeing you hurt so badly. I’m sorry, we shouldn’t have gotten so angry,” Adam said, gently reaching out to squeeze Beetlejuice’s arm. 

“Super sorry,” Barbara agreed, reaching out and gently cupping the demon’s cheek. He slowly looked up to the two, his eyes still glazed over, but brightening with realization. 

“Really?” He slurred. 

“Really. I promise we’re not angry at you,” Barbara nodded. 

Slowly, to their surprise, Beetlejuice leaned forward into their arms. “I think I might be a bit out of it,” he admitted it, voice muffled by their pajamas. 

The couple held onto him tightly. “Yeah, a little bit,” Adam agreed. “Now, will you let us help you?” 

“Please?” Barbara added. 

Slowly, Beetlejuice groaned. “Fine.” 

They pushed Beetlejuice into a proper sitting position, Adam holding him steady while Barbara carefully pushed his suspenders off and unbuttoned his shirt. “You wear a tank top under this?” Barbara asked in surprise upon seeing the previously unknown article of clothing. 

“Yup,” Beetlejuice replied, popping the p. He could hardly think straight, the dizziness of blood loss, the pain radiating from his side, and the couple’s warm, electrifying touches left his mind with a whirlwind of senses he could hardly sort through. 

Barbara eyed the suspiciously stained tank top for a moment, trying to work out the logistics of getting it off before inevitably giving up. “Adam, I think I’m gonna need some help with this,” she decided. 

“Lean against me, Lawrence, ok?” Adam asked, making sure the demon wasn’t about to topple over when he let go. 

“A chance to sit in your lap? Wouldn’t miss it,” Beetlejuice sloppily grinned, shifting to better sit with the taller ghost. 

Adam rolled his eyes and set to work helping Barbara peel the bloodied tank top off. It was suctioned tightly to Beetlejuice’s side from the drying blood and rain, but together the couple managed to carefully pull it away from the wound and roll it up and over Beetlejuice’s head. The clothes were all tossed to the side in a messy bundle, no doubt staining the floor beneath it with muck and grime, but that was far from the Maitlands' concerns as Barbara set to work mopping up the still fresh blood covering Beetlejuice. 

Soon they were able to get a better look at the wound, which wasn’t quite as awful as they feared it would be with all the blood covering it before. It wasn’t great, the demon had a hole in his side, but it seemed to just be a deep cut, nothing truly damaging. It may leave a scar, but it seemed Beetlejuice had a lot of those. Beetlejuice’s head lifted from Adam’s shoulder to eye his torso, and let out a pleased squawk. “Oh good, the internal organs have repaired themselves already! Those are a bitch to take care of. Probs’ why I’m so loopy, spent all my energy patching that up, and now I don’t have enough to make more blood.” 

Barbara blinked in wonder at the demon’s words before pressing a new towel to his side, stifling any further blood loss. “Sometimes I forget how different you are from us, being a deadborn and not a ghost,” she noted. 

“You don’t have to remind me how weird I am, I always remember,” Beetlejuice grumbled, but he was quickly surprised by Barbara pressing a heart skipping kiss to his cheek. 

“I like how weird you are,” she declared. 

“I do too. We’re all a bunch of weirdos here,” Adam chuckled, tenderly brushing a lock of Beetlejuice’s green hair back into place before pressing a kiss of his own to the demon’s head. Beetlejuice’s hair flushed pink, and he let out a heavy groan, burying his head into Adam’s shoulder. It was all too much for his poor, addled brain. 

“Don’t do that,” he whined. 

The couple stuttered to a halt, and spoke at once. 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out-“ 

“I overstepped the boundaries, I’m sorry-“ 

Beetlejuice waved an uncoordinated hand at the two of them, refusing to look up. “I’m too out of it for you guys to be so nice. You’ll make me hope that you actually do like me if you keep that up,” he continued, not listening to the couple’s stuttering. 

Barbara and Adam exchanged a confused look. “Lawrence, we do like you, you’ve actually been a pretty decent person since you’ve come back,” Barbara began. 

“No! Not like that! You don’t like me how I like you,” Beetlejuice cried, trying to flop away. Adam scrabbled to readjust his grip, keeping the demon from worsening his wound. 

“What do you mean, Lawrence?” Adam asked confusedly. Beetlejuice grumbled indistinctly into the ghost’s shirt. 

“What was that?” Barbara asked, pushing her hair away from her ear and leaning closer to hear the demon’s muffled words. 

“You won’t like me like how you two like each other. And… and it’s fine, I know I won’t ever get something like that from you two, but… but it makes it hard to remember that when you’re being so… you,” Beetlejuice sighed, slumping over tiredly. 

Barbara and Adam froze, looking to each other in shock. Beetlejuice… admitted it. He finally admitted what they had suspected. They never expected that. They thought they would have to tell their honest feelings in order for the demon to admit it as well. Then again, they didn’t expect him to show up in their room in the middle of the night bleeding intensely and about to pass out. They never really knew what to expect with him, honestly. 

“Of course you’re finally honest when you’re about to faint from blood loss,” Adam sighed, his arms tightening around the demon, and Barbara couldn’t help but smile bemusedly in agreement as well. 

Beetlejuice groaned, and his eyes opened up once again. “Don’t hate me, please. I… don’t want you to hate me,” he said, his voice oddly quiet and vulnerable. 

“We would never hate you for something like this, Lawrence,” Adam said, bringing a hand up to cradle the back of Beetlejuice’s head. 

“Would it really be hard to believe that we actually do like you that way?” Barbara asked while brushing Beetlejuice’s cheek, making Adam stutter and blush at her bold statement. Barbara wasn’t going to beat around the bush, though. Maitlands 2.0. 

Beetlejuice looked up to Barbara wide eyed. “I’m hallucinating now, I’ve lost way too much blood,” he decided. 

Barbara and Adam looked over to each other in frustration, before an idea passed through their heads, and the frustration turned into a conspiratorial smile, which they sealed with a quick peck. But before they could follow through with their idea, they needed to finish taking care of Beetlejuice’s injury. Adam levitated the medical supplies he got out over to them while Barbara carefully washed the wound, where Adam then set to work rubbing ointment into the injured flesh, and placed a piece of gauze over it. Barbara finished it off with carefully placed medical tape, and the two sat back, pleased with their work. 

They then carefully maneuvered themselves and Beetlejuice up onto their bed, where they sat for a few moments longer while the demon gathered himself. Beetlejuice blinked at the white pads set over his plump side, and carefully patted it. “Alright. Solid work. Well. I should be better in the morning proper, so... yeah. I better get to bed, leave you two be finally,” his head was finally starting to clear, and he wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. Maybe hide in his room for a few decades, until he got over how ridiculously weak he became in front of the couple. 

“Wait,” Barbara pressed her hands on his shoulders, stopping him from escaping. Beetlejuice winced. Looks like he wasn’t going to get out of this without some kind of stern talking to. Hands cupped his cheeks, making the demon look up, startled. The couple stood in front of him, looking very serious, but kind. 

“In the past few months, we’ve all taken care of each other,” Barbara began. 

“Been there for each other in our moments of need,” Adam continued. 

“Every time, you’ve been there, Lawrence. Trying your best to help us feel better. Things between us started off rocky, but since you’ve come back, things have been a lot better,” Barbara explained. 

“Barbara and I have been sort of hoping that maybe things could become different between you and us. Maybe we could try having a relationship together. And since you let us know how you feel, it’s only fair that we let you know, too,” Adam nodded. 

Beetlejuice started between them. “I… is this… not hallucinations from blood loss? This is real? I’m not out on the roof having the best visions ever?” He asked. 

“Would you like us to prove it?” Barbara asked with a smirk, her and Adam’s eyes darting down to Beetlejuice’s lips. Beetlejuice swallowed thickly, before nodding eagerly. The couple obliged. 

Barbara swooped in, pressing a gentle kiss to the demon’s still cool lips, before leaving with a light nip that made Beetlejuice’s heart stutter. Kissing Beetlejuice was different from kissing Adam. His stubble tickled, whereas Adam always had a clean shaven face. She decided she liked the way it felt just as much. Beetlejuice found Barbara’s lips warm, soft, but he also reveled in the strength he felt hidden under her pretty face. Yup, she could bench press him, and oh God/Satan was that hot. 

Adam leaned in next, slowly and evenly pressing close, cupping Beetlejuice’s round, stubbled cheeks carefully as he pressed warm, gentle kisses upon Beetlejuice’s lips. He found he quite liked the soft layer of give Beetlejuice had. Beetlejuice had to bite back a whine from the infinitely gentle kiss, Adam’s unique smell of lacquer and cologne would’ve made the demon weak at the knees if he were standing. 

“That prove it for you?” Barbara asked with a grin. 

“Hol’ on, fireworks are currently going off in my head,” Beetlejuice raised a finger, mini bottle rockets flying out of his ears and harmlessly lighting up in the air around his head. 

Barbara and Adam laughed, throwing their arms around the ridiculous demon. Beetlejuice slowly lifted his arms around them before giving in and tightly squeezing back. That was a mistake, his side pointed out with a painful twinge. He winced and the couple immediately drew back worriedly, but not far enough away that Beetlejuice had to let go of them. 

You need to take it easy until that’s better,” Barbara pursed her lips, patting Beetlejuice’s shoulder pointedly. 

“Not even a day together and I’m already getting bossed around. Guess they were right about relationships,” Beetlejuice said, though his hands tightened around the couple. 

“Well, that’s what happens when people care about you, unfortunately. Come on, we’ll help you change into something comfy and you can finally get some sleep,” Adam patted Beetlejuice’s hand curled around his hip. 

“I can still do shit on my own,” Beetlejuice scowled. 

“You mean you don’t want us feeling you up some more?” Barbara asked innocently, batting her eyes. 

“Help, I’m currently injured. Please assist your former bio-exorcist,” Beetlejuice instantly replied, staring at the two eagerly, making them laugh again. 

The hurt from the job was certainly one of his worse experiences, but Beetlejuice had to admit, this comfort afterwards was one of the best he ever had.