Chapter Title: Meeting the Family
Word Count: About 5000!
Pairing: Brittany/Rachel Friendship, mentions of Faberry and Brittana
WARNINGS: None really...mentions of sex if you want to be technical
Summary: Rachel meets Brittanys family and learns a bit more about the blond.
A/N: Okay so a couple of things about this chapter. It a little different from the others: First, we get to meet Brittanys family! Yay! I'm so excited about this because I've been planning it for a while, and I'm sort of in love with her family. (Oh, and just so you know, Brittany's sister is about thirteen and her cousin a or so year younger. Johan's about 20 or so). This could really have been posted as an outtake oneshot in the verse since it's pretty stand alone but I figured I may as well add it to the fic since it does go towards Rachel and Brittany bonding. Secondly, there's quite a bit of dutch in this but I've put the translations in brackets directly after it – thanks to dax_loves_khan for translating for me. Other to that, Enjoy!
Brittanys families had to by far be one of the most unusual families that Rachel had ever seen. Though she had been friends with the blond for almost a year now this was her first time she was going past the doorway of her house - She had been outside the house when she stopped past to pick up the blond when they were going somewhere, but that was about it. It wasn't intentional on either of the girls part, it just always worked out that if they weren't going out to the mall or something then they would hang at either Quinn or Rachels house, and Rachel was starting to understand why. She had been invited around to dinner this Thursday evening because Brittany's parents were tired of always hearing about the petite diva and never having met her.
Entering the house, Rachels first impression had been one of complete and utter chaos. There were a couple of pre-teen girls sprinting about the living room; the one having apparently stolen the tv remote and two women could be heard conversing rather loudly further in the house in what Rachel presumed was Dutch. Brittany was still in the process of taking her coat when the two little bodies rushed past her and headed towards the stairs, giggling and talking excitedly about some idea they'd just had.
"Hey, hey. Excuse me?" Brittany called after them, both halting mid stride before turning around, smiling guiltily and coming back over to give the tall girl a hug.
"This is my friend, Rachel." She introduced after greeting them "Rachel, this is my sister Stacy and our cousin Joanna."
"Very pleased to meet you." Rachel replied politely, offering her hand to each girl, who shook.
"Stacy, heeft mama gezegd om hoe laat het eten klaar zal zijn?" (Stacy, has Mama said what time dinner will be ready?) Brittany asked her sister in rapid Dutch once the introductions were over.
"Wel dat is pas over een half uur dus jullie twee zouden beter stoppen met spelen en je gaan wassen" (Well that's only in half an hour so you two better finish playing and go wash up.) Brittany suggested, amused by the lost look Rachel was sporting. Smiling indulgently after the children as they ran from the room, Brittany translated what she had said as she finished hanging up Rachels coat before leading the girl further into the house.
Walking through the living room, which had various paraphernalia scattered about, Brittany gave Rachel an apologetic glance and quickly chucked some of the nearer items into a storage basket but it didn't make much difference to the overall room. The house didn't look dirty per se, just really lived in. Rachel was slightly taken aback by the unruliness of the space – her fathers had always been rather particular about rooms being left neat and tidy.
"Okay, so meet the parents time." Brittany teased as she took Rachels hand and led her through to the kitchen where two blond women and a man were talking uproariously while one of the women kept an eye on some pots on the stove.
"Mama, Papa, Auntie Gina," Brittany greeted them, leaving Rachel by the door as she went to give each of them a peck on the cheek. "This is my friend, Rachel Berry. Rachel, this is my mom, dad and aunt."
"Pleased to meet you." Rachel greeted them with her award winning smile; already liking the look of these clearly jolly people.
"You too, Rachel, it's nice to finally put a face to the name we've been hearing so often" Brittany's mother offered, causing Rachel to flush, before turning her attention back to her daughter. "Could you tell Stacy and Joanna to go wash up?"
"I sent them up a moment ago." Brittany explained "Dinner almost ready?"
"Yes, do you think you and Rachel could set the table?"
Brittany agreed, already pulling cutlery out of a draw and handing it to Rachel before shepherding her out into the dining area which adjoined the lounge.
As they began to lay out the cutlery across from each other, Rachel could hear Brittany's mother start up another conversation with other adults and though they were speaking dutch, Rachel was fairly certain of the topic of conversation, especially considering how many times she heard her name mentioned, along with the occasional 'Santana' and 'Britt'
Glancing across the table, Rachel found Brittany watching her with a mildly embarrassed smile. "Sorry." She apologised softly "My family don't mean to be rude, they just have no filters and forget that sound travels in this house and that their daughter can also speak Dutch." Brittany added raising her voice so her family could hear her "Alleen omdat jullie in een andere kamer zijn betekent niet dat we jullie niet kunnen horen roddelen over mijn liefdesleven" (Just because you're in another room doesn't mean we can't hear you gossiping about my life)
"Hey, our lives are boring, we have to find our entertainment where we can." Brittany's aunt replied in English for Rachel's benefit, to which Brittany's father was quick to reply, obviously denying the boringness of his life. Brittany just rolled her eyes at Rachel who, despite finding the idea of comfortably having a conversation through two rooms slightly odd, was thoroughly entertained by the exchange - though she could only really understand half of it.
"You also need to set a place for Johan." Brittany's mom called after a moment.
"I thought he was staying with his girlfriend?" Brittany replied, not bothering to mask the annoyance in her voice. Brittany knew people often found her family overwhelming to be around and she didn't really want to deal with his teasing when it was only Rachels first dinner with everyone.
"He claims he could sacrifice a night with his girlfriend to come and see yours." Her Aunt Gina explained, and Brittany actually blushed while Rachel averted her eyes embarrassedly.
"Zoals ik jullie al verschillende keren gezegd heb, ze is niet mijn lief!" (As I've told you all, numerous times, she's not my girlfriend) Brittany argued, pointedly avoiding using Rachels name, who was finding Brittany's obvious discomfort rather amusing.
"Wel je praat genoeg over haar zodat ze het evengoed wel kan zijn"(Well you talk about her enough that she may as well be) Brittanys mom teased as she entered the room "...and don't talk in Dutch when you know Rachel here can't understand, it's rude" The scolding was only said with half seriousness though since Mrs Pierce had also been speaking in dutch a moment ago.
"What's rude?" Stacy asked as she and Joanna entered the room.
"Butting in to other peoples conversations." Brittany replied without missing a beat as the doorbell rang. Stacy and Joanna both ran off to answer it, shouting excitedly when they saw who was on the other side. A moment later a young man entered the room, clearly only a few years Brittany and Rachels senior.
"Figures you get such an excitable greeting." Brittany observed dryly of the childrens reaction once he had finished greeting the adults, who had by now all entered the dining area, and leant over to give her a kiss on the cheek. There was a smile on her lips though so it was clear no malice was intended "When I get home they just go sprinting straight passed me."
"Can you blame them?" he teased and Brittany slapped his arm playfully.
"Johan, this is my friend, Rachel Berry. Rachel, this is my Aunt Gina's son; Johan" Brittany introduced. Rachel offered him her hand weakly, feeling slightly overwhelmed by all the sudden movement and talkative people around her. The idea of sitting down to dinner with these seven, rather rowdy people was a foreign one to Rachel who was used to having quiet dinners with just her generally reserved fathers; both being estranged from their families.
"Always great to meet one of Brittanys friends." Johan replied, mimicking Brittanys emphasis with a mocking tone as they shook hands. Rachel frowned slightly, not really sure what he was getting at, before being distracted by everyone starting to take their places at the table.
Conversation flowed naturally as they all began to eat, and Rachel enjoyed the way they all chatted about what was going on in their lives and didn't change to the more generic topics of conversation because of her presence. She felt like she was getting an honest glance into Brittany's home life while at the same time they successfully stopped her from feeling too out of the loop. Rachel also found the familys dynamic, which was so different to her own familys, fascinating to watch. The banter and the lively discussions giving Rachel a better understanding of Brittany as a person.
Rachel had never really entered into a full on discussion with her fathers; not that they were cold or distanced from her but they had raised her with the mentality that what they said goes. Brittany, on the other hand, although it was clear she respected her parents, was currently having an animated debate with her father over whether or not the Cheerios should be forced to wear uniforms when not at practice – or at least that's what she thought it was about; it was hard to keep up because though Brittanys family were trying to be considerate to the fact Rachel only spoke English they tended to forget and would switch back to Dutch for a few minutes before remembering and returning to English again.
"So I know Rachel plans to sleep over this evening but is Santana also planning on stopping by?" Brittanys mom asked a short while later when the conversation lulled
"Not tonight." Brittany responded
"Oh good, my ears could use a break." Stacy commented dramatically, causing Rachel to almost choke on her food.
"Hey, don't make things up. Your rooms on the other end of the hall from mine and we always make a point of not being too loud." Brittany argued, not noticing how Rachel was gaping at her, trying to determine whether Brittany was actually referencing her sex life in front of her parents, who didn't seem to even mind, or if the double meaning was unintentional.
"I wouldn't get your hopes up Stacy, Rachel may be even louder than Santana." Johan added in, causing the two younger girls to giggle and Rachel to blush bright red as she was now pretty certain her initial theory had been right. Brittany aimed a kick at Johan under the table making him wince while Mrs Pierce frowned at Brittany chidingly.
"I've already said that Rachel and I are just friends."
"So what? It'd be such a pity to break from tradition, don't you think."
"Johan, leave them alone." Gina scolded her son gently while they all chuckled at Rachels expression.
"It's fine." Rachel assured them, taking a large sip of water "What's this tradition?" Rachel should have known she'd regret the question as Johan grinned mischievously.
"You know, most people would find this inappropriate dinner conversation." Brittany interrupted before he could say anything, trying to change the topic. Brittany's family had always been the open minded sort, and had no problem discussing normally taboo subjects like sex – they were even comfortable to freely acknowledged that their daughter had sex with her girlfriend and would even occasionally tease her about it. Brittany herself was used to this, but she was fairly certain Rachel was not.
"Since when are we most people?" Brittany's father asked "Besides, why shouldn't we talk about sex? It's a natural, healthy part of life as long as you're responsible about it. It's only the strictures of society that make one hesitate to discuss it."
"Yes, but we are a part of the society and so should abide by those strictures." It was an argument Brittany had made many a time – not because she particularly disagreed with her father but because she enjoyed discussing his opinions, and in today's case, wanted to distract everyone from Johan's comments. As she knew he would, Brittany's father issued his rebuttal.
Rather than get drawn into the debate though, like the rest of the table, Johan turned his attention back to Rachel after a moment. "You know there's not many friends Brittany's brought to a family dinner," he explained as Brittany turned her attention from her father just in time to hear his words "and, well, lets just say every time one of them stays over the house hold has to break out the ear buds again."
It took Rachel a second to realise what he meant and then a further moment to work out something else. Brittany could see the change in Rachels demeanour the second she did.
"Would you excuse me?" Rachel asked of her hosts in a quiet voice as she stood and placed her napkin on the table, turning to head out of the room before anyone could reply.
"stommerik" (Idiot) Brittany muttered at Johan over the now unusually quiet table as she stood to go after the brunette. She knew though that Johan had only meant to tease and make her uncomfortable and hadn't known what he was inadvertently suggesting with that statement.
Walking into the passage, Brittany saw Rachel had found the wash closet and locked herself in.
"Rachel." She called, knocking softly.
Rachel sighed as she watched herself in the mirror. It wasn't that she minded if Brittany and Quinn had more than a purely platonic history, just that it had been kept from her.
"Rachel, Johans an idiot. He's also exaggerating."
"So you didn't sleep with my girlfriend?" Rachel clarified, not opening the door.
"No." Rachel felt a little relief seep into her.
"Rachel, I'm not having a conversation with you through a wooden door." Brittany cut her off. A moment later she could hear the lock click as Rachel came out into the passage.
"You really need to stop jumping to conclusions so quickly." Brittany scolded lightly while Rachel looked mildly embarrassed. "Johan was just teasing me, you don't seriously think I sleep with everyone I bring to dinner?" Rachel honestly wasn't sure because she hadn't really been friends with the blond when she was still sleeping around with people other to Santana, but she decided that that was probably not a good thing to admit since it apparently wasn't true.
"I suppose not."
"Good, then lets get back to the table before they finish without us." Brittany wanted to discuss Rachels reaction further but knew it would have to wait until later. Returning to the table, a rather red faced Rachel apologised to her hosts for her disappearance, and Johan offered her an apology of his own, after which things ran smoothly.
Once Stacy and Joanna had finished clearing the table Brittany had quickly dragged Rachel upstairs before Johan could come up with something more accidentally damaging to reveal. Making a point to purposely close her bedroom door as Johan walked past, heading back downstairs from the bathroom. Brittany turned back to Rachel, who was glancing about the room curiously.
"So, that was my family." Brittany said as way of a conversation starter.
"They're...energetic." Rachel said jokingly, unable to come up with a word to appropriately describe them. Brittnay laughed.
"I suppose so. That's probably why Quinn doesn't come over often, I think she finds it rather unsettling. That and the way we tend to just discuss whatever's on our minds."
"Like sex." Rachel commented.
"Like sex." Brittany agreed, "There are very few off limit subjects in this house, particularly now that Stacy's older." Well it certainly explained why Brittany rarely got more than mildly embaressed, Rachel mused.
"So your parents really just let you and Santana..."
"They believe that acts of physical pleasure, like sex, are completely normal and as teenagers we're going to do it anyway, so at least we can have a safe environment. Though Santana and I don't normally have sex here because she thinks it's slightly creepy with my parents down the hall and knowing what we're up to."
"Huh, Santana with scruples, who would have thought?" Rachel murmured with a smile as she took a seat on Brittany's bed, noticing a framed photo on Brittany's dresser. It was of a slightly younger Brittany, Santana and Quinn sitting on the bleachers in the gym. "I'm sorry about earlier." Rachel added after a moment "It's just you and Santana have a history with Quinn that I'm not a part of and I can't help wonder sometimes how much I don't know."
"Well there's a lot you don't know." Brittany replied gently, turning her desk chair around and sitting to face Rachel. "Santana, Quinn and I have been friends for over ten years and a lot has happened in that time. You can't expect to know everything we've learnt about each other in only the 10 months you've been dating Quinn. If it makes you feel better though, in those ten months, you've seen a side of Quinn that neither Santana nor I ever have."
"So neither of you have ever had sex with her?"
"That's not the only way I meant, but no, we haven't." Brittany assured her
"Have you ever thought about it?" Rachel blurted out before realising just what she was asking and blushing.
"Have you ever thought about it with Santana or I?" Brittany returned with a smirk as Rachel became flustered ; already having suspected the answer.
Rachel was saved from replying though when the bedroom door burst open to admit Johan.
"Damn, i was hoping o at least catch some making out." He fake pouted after glancing around the room to find both girls sitting innocently with a good few feet of space between them.
"You're practically my brother, you're not meant to be excited by that idea." Brittany pointed out.
"I wasn't." He protested "I was hoping that I'd be able to break it up and save you from being ravaged by this seductress."
Rachel chuckled as he winked at her playfully and Brittany rolled her eyes. "You didn't do that when you caught me and Santana going at it."
"Yeah, well that chick scares me." This caused both girls to pack up laughing, especially with Johan being easily twice Santana's size.
"Those fears would be well founded if you interrupted Santana 'getting her mack on'" Rachel replied jokingly.
"So other to your hopes of saving me from Rachel, is there any particular reason for you interrupting us from a fascinating discussion?"
"Oh, what about?"
"Something that is far too advanced for someone with your IQ to understand." Brittany replied tartly, ending Rachels momentary panic that she would tell him what they had actually been discussing. Johan's expression morphed into one of mock hurt for a moment before flicking back to a smile and answering Brittanys previous question.
"Jo's sleeping over again and your Mom asked if you check on their homework and get them in bed...She did ask if I could help too, but..."
"It's fine." Brittany replied quickly before adding for Rachels benefit "The last time he tried to help them they were up an extra two hours after their bedtimes."
"How did you manage to do that?" Rachel chuckled.
"They were struggling with their maths and Johan decided it was a good idea to use sweets and coke in a practical example – sugar and caffeine high ensued.
"You want to come help me?" Brittany added to Rachel as she stood up "Otherwise you can stay and fiddle on my laptop if you'd prefer."
"I'll help." Rachel decided, standing to follow Brittany down the hall to her sisters room.
Entering the room they found Stacy sitting on her bed with a board game spread out before her.
"Hey Stac, where's Jo?"
"Oh. Okay, well it's getting late and we still need to go over you guys' homework before bedtime."
"Can we just play a little longer Britt; I'm winning." Stacy made puppy dog eyes at the pair. Brittany glanced at her watch.
"Five minutes and then we go over homework." Brittany phrased it as a question, though it clearly wasn't.
"Fine." Stacy pouted as Joanna re-entered the room. "Jo, Britt zegt dat we nog maar vijf minuten hebben om te spelen voordat we ons huiswerk met haar moeten overlopen."(Jo, Britt says we only have five more minutes to play before we have to go over our homework with her)
"You want something to drink while we wait?" Brittany offered Rachel and they both headed back to the kitchen, passing through the lounge where Brittany's parents were watching tv.
"Britt, ga je de meisjes helpen met hun huiswerk en hen in bed stoppen voor mij?" (Britt, you going to help the girls with their homework and get them into bed for me?) Brittanys mother called once they had gotten their juice and were heading back through.
"Ja, Rachel gaat helpen"(Yes, Rachel's going to help).
"Goed, goed, roep ons om goedenacht tegen hen te komen zeggen" (Good, good, call us to come say goodnight to them.)
Brittany quickly translated the just of the conversation as she and Rachel mounted the stairs again.
"Britt, do your parents know about your and Santana's...arrangement?" Rachel asked curiously when she was sure they were out of her parents earshot
"No, no. I may be close with my family, but I prefer to keep the details of my relationship with Santana to myself." They arrived outside Stacy's door again "Don't get drawn in by their puppy dog faces," Brittany warned in half seriousness as they could hear the girls talking. "Okay, times up." Brittany announced as they entered
"Aww, a little longer?" Joanna pleaded, looking up from the game.
"No, you had your five minutes. You can leave the game on the side if you want and pick up where you left off tomorrow night."
"Can't we play after we're done with our homework if there's time?"
"It'll get you too riled up before bedtime." Brittany explained as she denied the request.
"Rachel, can't you tell her to let us play a bit longer?" Stacy asked when it was clear Brittany wasn't going to budge. Rachel was very nearly drawn into saying yet at their pleading expressions but she knew it wasn't her place to contradict Brittany.
"Sorry, she's the boss." Rachel deflected and both girls dejectedly began packing up the game; knowing they'd never go back to it the next day.
Once the game was cleared away the girls retrieved their school bags, and pulled out their homework diaries, Stacy handing hers to Brittany and Jo handing hers to Rachel.
"Just go through and check she's completed everything written down for today, and glance through a few of her answers to check she got the right idea." Brittany instructed and for the next 15 minutes or so they did just that.
Rachel watched with some amusement as Brittany discovered that Stacy hadn't finished her English worksheet properly and scolded her brusquely, insisting Stacy complete it then and there.
Once the homework had been checked and books packed away, Brittany had the girls get ready for bed while she pulled out the spare bed for Joanna (Stacy had one of those beds that had a second roll out mattress stored in the base).
"Santana used to stay over here so often when we were younger that my parents brought this bed because it was easier than setting up and then packing away a camper cot every few days." Brittany explained, while Rachel stood awkwardly to one side watching – Stacy had gone to brush her teeth and Joanna wanted some water to drink. "When San and I gave up the pretence of sleeping in separate beds and my parents decided to get me a Queen bed I passed it along to Stacy. Can you hand me the bedding in the top shelf o the cupboard over there?"
Rachel quickly retrieved the required items and helps Brittany finish making the bed.
"Ok schattebouts, into bed with you both." Brittany directed the girls, who had re-entered the room. They turned on the bed side light and Brittany indicated for Rachel, who was standing near the switch, to turn out the main light.
"Alright you two," Brittany addressed both girls who, though under the covers were still sitting up. Brittany moved to perch on the end of the bed though Rachel hovered near the doorway, feeling out of place. "So what were some of the good parts of today?" It was a ritual the sisters did every day, with Joanna when she was there.
"Joanna came over." Stacy started things off
"Kerry-Anne invited me to her party next week." Joanna supplied.
"I got to see Santana." Brittany said.
"She always says that." Stacy added to Rachel.
"Yes, because that's always a good part of my day." Brittany replied. There was a pause before Rachel realised they were all waiting for her to say something.
"I got to meet you two." Rachel answered after a moment of thought.
"We learnt a new song in Choir practice." Stacy continued with her second reason.
"Mrs Stewart let us talk quietly for the last five minutes of class because we finished all our work early."
"Coach Sylvester didn't shout directly at me during Cheerio's practice."
"Umm...I got an A on my English paper." Rachel supplied when it was her turn and Stacy gave her a quick applause.
"Okay, last one, so make it a good one." Brittany warned them as Johan poked his head in the doorway
"Johan came to dinner." Joanna grinned at him.
"I wanted to say that one." Stacy complained half-heartedly. "Well I guess I'll say then that it was nice weather so we got to spend lunch break outside."
"I got to spend time with all my friends at school and Mr Schue is told me I could choreograph the next glee group number." Both girls made quick congratulatory comments.
"I got to have a lovely dinner with my best friend and her family." Rachel finished the cycle.
"Johan, what about your day?" Joanna asked quickly and they all turned to look at him.
"Okay, well I got to meet the famous Rachel Berry," Johan began, causing Rachel to blush "I got to see my little sister," he winked at Joanna "and i got to tease Britt about her love life." Brittany just rolled her eyes as the others chuckled.
"Alright then, goodnight you two," Brittany said as she leant over give Stacy a kiss on the cheek before repeating the procedure with Joanna. "I'll send Mama and Papa up in a moment."
Johan moved into the room then, also giving each a kiss. Rachel was about to leave when she heard them both call a soft good night to her, which she returned before following the others out into the passageway.
"I'll go call your parents." Johan murmured to Brittany, heading to the stairs.
"You're really good with them." Rachel commented as they re-entered her bedroom. Watching Brittany with her sister had explained a lot about her
"Thanks. You saw them on a good day though. Sometimes those two can argue from here to Christendom to stay up later."
"I'm sure you put up with that." Rachel replied sarcastically, causing Brittany to smile before sobering somewhat.
"Santana thinks my parents rely on me too much when it comes to Stacy."
"Yes, although I don't mind it." Brittany replied slowly, considering her words "but I think that Stacy misses out to some extent."
"That whole saying the good things that happened to you before bed is a good idea." Rachel commented, unable to think of an appropriate remark to Brittany's words.
"That was my mothers thing." Brittany explained "She used to do it with me when I was quite a bit younger than them. She always said you must only remember the good things when going to sleep..." Rachel didn't miss the wistful tone in Brittany's voice "I still do it for myself at night and it's helped me through some hard times so I wanted to pass it on to them."
There was a knock on the door and Johan popped his head in the room.
"No sneak attacks this time." Brittany observed dryly.
"I just wanted to let you know that my mom and I are leaving." He explained, ignoring the jibe, opening the door wider to show Brittanys aunt in the passage way. Brittany quickly got up to give her aunt a hug goodbye.
"Take care of yourself". Brittany said to Johan as she moved to give him a hug, while Rachel bid her aunt goodbye. "And come past more often, we don't see each other nearly enough since you moved out of your parents place"
"I'll try. Ik vind Rachel leuk, ze is een leuke verandering van de gemene meisjes waar je normaal vrienden mee bent.".(And I like Rachel, she's a nice change from the mean/bitchy girls you're normally friends with). Brittany smacked his arm on principal at the jibe but she knew what he meant.
"You really are tiny, you know that?" Johan asked without malice as he gave Rachel a hug.
"I was aware." Rachel joked back. "It was nice to meet you."
"So, movie?" Brittany suggested once Johan and her Aunt Gina had left. They decided to change into their pyjama's first before settling down on Brittany's bed to watch Love Actually off Brittanys laptop since she didn't have a tv in her room. By the time the credits rolled Rachel was already sleeping on Brittanys shoulder.
Brittany gently coaxed Rachel to lie down into a more conventional sleeping position on one side of the bed. Quietly slipping out of bed, Brittany wandered downstairs to say goodnight to her parents before going back to slide under the covers and allow sleep to claim her.
AN2: Okay, so that was the next instalment. I had to make Brittany's family a bit odd given who their daughter is. Comments? Reviews? Suggestions & Prompts? ;)