A weightier prompt than usual - MSA Lewis meeting his family again post-mansion. (If relevant, assume the long awkward conversations and explanations are done and the trio+dog are mystery buddies again.)
[AN: I have decided to name Mr and Mrs Pepper “Bel” and “Cayenne” for no real reason other than shits and giggles.]
Vivi awkwardly polished a cracked heart locket with her hands as Arthur drew all the curtains closed. “We… have some news…” Vivi began. She was tense. On edge. Sitting very stiff and formal on the couch where she once lounged on lazy Sundays to pummel Lewis at video games.
“This is one of your supernatural things, isn’t it?” Cayenne, always quicker off the mark than her husband, had never taken her gaze away from the locket as it turned and tumbled in Vivi’s hands.
Bel put it together when Arthur turned off the lights. “Oh, I think it is… And I think it might be Lewis.”
“Yeah. It’s me.” There was no elaborate lead in. He appeared out of the darkness with his pink pompadour aflame. In the same black suit they’d buried his body in. “I’m sorry, Mom. Dad. I couldn’t leave. And… I still don’t want to.”
The most horrifying thing, Arthur would say later, was that Cayenne was crying and Bel looked furious. When the Peppers reacted, it was usually the other way around.
“You’re sorry,” said Bel. “You’re sorry?”
“After all we went through, you’re sorry?“
Bel Pepper launched himself across the room and landed in a hug. “Never be sorry! Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever be sorry!“
Cayenne followed him, wrapping herself around them both. “You’re here. You came back. O my baby, my baby…”
Slightly irritated, yet relieved and accepting, “Mom…” Lewis returned the hug. “I’m still sorry I’m cold.”
The Peppers chorused a unanimous, “We don’t care.”
Vivi relaxed. “He’s tied to the locket. Currently. We’re… we’re still working on ways to help him corporealise.”
And it was only after a near-marathon catch-up session that the Peppers noticed that Arthur remained oddly silent. And spent most of his time clinging to Mystery.
But they knew that Arthur blamed himself for Lewis’ death. They would later find out that Lewis did the same.