A.N: Hiya this is my second story on and my first on outnumbered, (which I have recently become addicted to :P ). Please try to be nice but any critical reviews are good because they will help me improve my writing. Basically this will be a series of one-shots of scenes which Pete and Sue mention in the T.V show but never really expand on, and just before the story starts at the top of the page but under the A.N and the disclaimer I'll write in italics where the idea was taken from. Well, enjoy and thanks so much for reading J
Disclaimer: Unfortunately I don't own outnumbered, but I wish I did ;)
St. Paul's Cathedral (series 1 episode 3)
After returning from Karen's birthday at an urban farm, Pete rested his head on the steering wheel. "Do you know," he groaned, "that was possibly the worst family outing ever. Well, apart from the bird sanctuary."
Sue sighed. "That incredibly rare duck... Ex-duck…"
"Then, of course there was St. Paul's Cathedral," Pete added. "Projectile vomiting in the whispering gallery."
"Are we there yet?" Ben moaned.
"No." Pete replied shortly.
"Erm, Mummy?" Karen looked up from the picture book she had been studying for the past half hour.
"Yes, darling?" Sue sighed.
"How far away are we?"
"Why?" Sue looked at her daughter in concern. "I thought you were happy reading your rabbit book."
"Well I was, but now I really, really, really need a wee!" Karen exclaimed, shifting uncomfortably from side to side.
"And I'm hungry!" Ben added.
"Well it's your own fault for not eating breakfast, isn't it?" Pete muttered, glancing at his seven year old son's reflection in the mirror.
"But I hate bran flakes." Ben complained, sticking his tongue out at his father.
"I don't care, and by the way if I catch you doing rude hand signals to the driver behind again, I'll feed you nothing but bran flakes for the rest of your life!" Pete scolded, wishing he hadn't agreed to come on this trip.
"Mummy I do still need the toilet you know!" Karen cried, unhappy about being forgotten.
"Yes, sweetheart, we'll stop at the services in a minute." Sue checked her watch. "Actually Pete, it is almost lunch time. Do you reckon we should get some food there?"
"Pete raised his eyebrow. "Sue, just this morning you were telling me how dodgy service station food is, and how you want them all to close down."
"Yes well, beggars can't be choosers," she said briskly. "Jake, are you hungry?" She addressed her eleven year old son who had the unfortunate job of sitting in between Ben and Karen.
"He can't hear you." Karen informed her mother somberly.
"Jake? Are you listening to me? God, he's got those blasted earphones in again. Jake!" Sue sighed in exasperation.
"Do you want me to hit him for you, mum?" Ben offered cheerfully.
"No thank you, Ben." Sue said quickly.
Karen, who had been sitting quite contently beside Jake, pulled out his left earphone. "Jake!" She screamed down his ear.
Jake jumped, glaring at Karen. "What?" He snapped irritably.
"Mum wanted to know if you were hungry." Karen smiled sweetly.
"Dunno… A bit." He shrugged, before putting his earphones back in.
"That was helpful." Sue muttered under her breath.
"Don't put your headphones back in now, Jakester – we're just pulling up at the services!" Pete warned.
"Alright!" Sue said. "Everybody out! Jake, help Karen with her seatbelt, will you?"
They stepped out of the car. "Sue," Pete pulled his wife aside for a moment and murmured in her ear, "Do you really think this was a good idea? Taking the kids this far away just to look at a bor- I mean, a cathedral they won't even find interesting?"
"Pete, you know how much this means to me. And anyway, you can talk – you were as into the idea as I was." Sue defended herself.
"Yes, but as soon as I stepped into the car I started having my misgivings." Pete sighed. "I mean, think about it – Ben will be climbing over the altar, Karen will be traumatizing the vicar and Jake's phone will probably go off halfway through the service. And then-"
"Ben!" Sue interrupted. "Get out from under that car right now! Come on, we're going in now… Karen, hold my hand, we're in a car park remember…"
"Ben, have you got your seatbelt on?" It had been an hour since the stop at the services, and Pete was starting to feel suicidal.
"Yes." Ben lied.
"No you haven't," Pete shook his head at his mischievous son. "Jake, make sure Ben's got his seatbelt on, ok?"
"Alright," Jake muttered, bending over his brother. "Keep still, Ben!"
"Ben, don't you put that screwdriver anywhere near your brother's eye!" Sue called sharply. "In fact, just give that screwdriver here."
"No!" Ben shouted stubbornly.
"Ben, you give that screwdriver to mummy right now!"
"Are you deaf?" Ben held the screwdriver over his head triumphantly. "I said no!"
"Right, that's it" Pete had reached the end of his patience. "I'm coming over!" He reached down to undo his seatbelt, but Sue grabbed his hand quickly.
"Calm down, Pete. I'll tell you what, Ben – how about you give me the screwdriver and I'll buy an ice cream?"
"Ok!" Ben sounded chuffed as he handed over his precious screwdriver, a wide grin plastered on his face.
"What? Mummy that's not fair!" Karen squealed indignantly. "I want an ice cream too!"
"Ok, you'll all have ice creams." Sue was beyond caring now.
"I want chocolate!"
"I'm having mint choc chip!"
"Alright, calm down. So we've got one chocolate, one mint choc chip and – Jake what flavor do you want?"
"Don't want any." Jake muttered.
"Are you sure?" Pete looked at his son in concern.
"Tummy ache." Jake groaned.
"Well, ok." Pete said. "We're just about to park up I think.
Jake nodded queasily.
"Come on, kids," Sue said once they had stopped in the car park, "Auntie Angela and Grandad are meeting us in the park next to the cathedral."
"Will the ice cream van be there?" Karen jumped out of the car eagerly.
"I hope so, dear." Sue grimaced at the thought of the tantrums that would be thrown if there was no ice cream.
Ben and Karen raced off in the direction of the park, their shadows mingling together as they jumped and shouted in glee.
Pete turned, noticing as he did so that Jake was still stood by the car, looking around seriously.
"You alright, Jakey?" Pete asked.
Jake shook his head unhappily.
"Stomach still giving you grief?" Pete didn't know if he was approaching this the right way. Then again, there was a lot of things he didn't know when it came to Jake.
"I've got a headache as well."
"And I feel really dizzy."
"Right." He never was good at lying.
"And I'm freezing."
"Right, Jake, that's it!" Pete could take it no longer.
"What?" Jake looked bewildered.
"Look, I know you don't want to be here – neither do I! But you can't just lie about feeling a bit poorly and expect to be taken home. Freezing indeed – its baking here! Its 24 degrees, people are walking around in shorts and t-shirts! You're getting as bad as Ben-"
"Don't interrupt! Today is very important for you mother and Auntie Angela and Grandad because this was your Grandma's favourite church. They've come here to remember her, so it is very selfish of you to try to ruin the day. I've had enough of you! You're supposed to be responsible and you're supposed to know better!" Pete seethed, almost surprising himself with the sudden burst of anger that seemed to have sprung from nowhere.
Jake flinched back from his father's harsh words, his expression changing rapidly from hurt to anger and back again. "Oh, so I'm the responsible one, am I? So its ok if Ben threatens me with a screwdriver, or if Karen slaps Auntie Angela in the face when she bends down, like she's just done right now, but if I say I don't feel well – which I don't – then that's way over the line? Oh yeah, that makes perfect sense!" Jake yelled sarcastically.
"Right, I've had more than enough of your attitude, young man! I'm confiscating your iPod until you apologise."
"Apologise for what?" Jake stomped off in the direction of the rest of his family before his father could answer.
"Alright, Jakey?" Angela asked as soon as he approached.
"Yes thanks." Jake replied shortly, not particularly wishing to speak to his aunt.
"Are you having an ice cream, Jake?" Grandad asked.
"Well…" Jake paused, looking helplessly over his grandad's shoulder at his mother who was nodding largely and signaling for him to say yes. "Yes." He said eventually.
Grandad beamed, "good. What flavor?"
"Strawberry please." Jake tried to smile, even though the thought of food made his stomach churn.
"I always said that was the best flavor!" Grandad said jovially.
Jake smiled weakly.
"Hey Karen! Come look at this!" Ben shouted suddenly.
"What?" Karen wandered over to where her brother was sticking out of a bush. He turned to face her, mum streaked across his face and grass stains on his knees.
"Do you want to see me eat some bugs?" Ben grinned at the look of repulsion that crossed his sisters face.
"Bugs?" Karen repeated in shock. "But you can't eat bugs, because… Because… Because they'd go all wriggly in your tummy and you'd feel them moving around in your throat!"
"No you wouldn't because they'd be dead." Ben pointed out.
"And also it's very cruel because it's not their fault they're bugs and now you're just going to eat them all up!" Karen glared at her brother.
"What the hell are you two doing?" Ben and Karen jumped, and then looked relieved as they saw it was only their brother Jake.
"I'm going to eat some bugs, only Karen won't let me because she thinks it cruel." Ben explained quickly.
"Well, you can't eat bugs, Ben." Jake told his brother.
"Because if you a bug-"
"Two bugs," Ben interrupted, "a spider and a worm."
"Well if you eat two bugs then you will feel very sick, and I think Dad might pitch a fit if we both throw up in the cathedral."
"Why will we both be sick?" Ben looked at Jake curiously. "Have you been eating bugs too?"
"No, I haven't been eating bugs, I just feel sick anyway, and Grandad forcing me to eat a double scoop of strawberry ice cream didn't help." Jake scowled.
"You should have given that to me if you didn't want it, Jake." Karen tutted. "You shouldn't waste food or polar bears will die."
"No they won't," Jake shook his head at his little sister, before turning to his brother. "Ben put that down right now! Ugh, Ben don't eat… Oh my God…" Jake broke off, staring in disgust at his brother who had swallowed a whole worm.
"That is disgusting." He said bluntly.
"That was so cool!" Ben grinned. "I need a spider now!"
"Ben!" Karen hit her brother hard on the arm. "You can't eat little creatures!"
"Look I'm gonna tear this spiders legs off first so it can't move, and then I'm gonna eat it!" Ben sounded delighted with himself. "Look it's all gone!"
"Bug-killer." Karen muttered, stalking off back to her parents.
"I can't even believe you just did that." Jake said, looking slightly green.
"Kids!" Sue hollered. "Come on – hurry up! We're going into the cathedral now!"
"Boring." Ben whispered as he and Jake rejoined the rest of their family.
"Right, remember," Sue paused at the doors of the cathedral, "we're going into the whispering gallery, which means you have to whisper."
"Why?" Ben asked loudly.
"Shh… Because it's respectful. Look, it says on that sign there 'anybody speaking above a whisper will be asked to leave the gallery.' We wouldn't want to have to be asked to leave now, would we?"
Ben didn't reply, just ran through the doors, the sound of his trainers hitting the floor echoing loudly throughout the hall.
"Well, that's a good start." Pete muttered.
"Now, Karen." Auntie Angela bent down so that she was on the same level as her niece, a fake smile plastered across her face. "We're going to be quiet aren't we? And we're going to be very good for Auntie Angela."
"No." Karen shook her head honestly.
"I – I beg your pardon?" Angela blinked rapidly.
"No." Karen repeated. "I'm going to be very good for Mummy and Daddy, and for Jake and Ben, and also for Grandad. But not for you."
"Come on, Karen, that's enough of that." Pete made an apologetic face at Angela, and steered his daughter away firmly.
"I'd forgotten how beautiful this place was," Sue gasped as they took their seats in the whispering gallery.
"Mum," Jake whispered.
"Yes, darling." Sue looked around, and Jake was surprised to see she had tears in her eyes.
"Are you alright?" he asked in concern.
"Yes, I'm fine." Sue smiled. "Just memories that all…"
"Oh, right." Jake looked around awkwardly.
"Sorry, dear, what did you want?"
"Oh, nothing… I just feel a bit sick, that's all." Jake swallowed.
"Sick? Oh God… Well, what type of sick?" Sue groaned.
"Well… Sick sick. You know… Just sick."
"Does your Dad know?" Sue glanced around.
"He thought I was lying," Jake admitted. "Oh, and I think Ben might be feeling a bit sick too."
"What makes you think that?"
"Just a feeling." Jake shrugged.
On the other side of the gallery, a similar conversation was going on.
"Dad, I feel sick." Ben announced.
"Ben, shush." His father hushed him. "This is called 'the whispering gallery' for a reason, you know. Some guy didn't just think, 'oh, I'm going to make a room called the whispering gallery so I can shout in it' did he?"
"How do you know?" Karen, who was sat on Pete's other side, asked.
"What?" Pete looked at his daughter unsurely.
"Well, how do you know he didn't think that? Did you know him?" She questioned.
"Well then…" Karen looked pleased at the fact she was right.
"Sorry, what did you say Ben?" Pete addressed his youngest son.
"I feel sick." Ben groaned.
"Did Jake put you up to this?" Pete asked suspiciously.
"No, I ate a worm and a spider and now I feel ill." Ben stated, honestly.
"Well… Wait, did you just say you ate a spider and a worm? Good God, Ben… Right, come with me." Pete stood up, taking Ben's hand. "Sue?" He caught his wife's eye and beckoned her over.
She hurried across with Jake. "Oh, Pete, I just wanted to speak to you – it's Jake, apparently he feels ill."
"Well, I've already spoken to him about his 'illness', haven't I Jake?" he raised his eyebrow at his son.
"Dad, I swear I'm not lying!" Jake protested.
"Shhh!" An old couple behind them glared at them. "This is the whispering gallery you know!"
"Sorry," Pete acknowledged. "Anyway, Ben was just telling me he felt sick, and when I asked him why, you know what he's gone and done? Only eaten a spider and a worm. Alive."
"My God." Sue muttered. "Right, we need to get Ben out of here-"
"Mum." Ben tugged on Sue's arm.
"Not now, Ben." Sue shooed him away.
"I could take him to the car-" Pete offered.
"He's not being sick in my car, I've just cleaned it!" Sue exclaimed.
"Mum…" Ben tried again to get his mother's attention, but she just ignored him.
"Well, I'll take him outside at any-"
"Mum!" Ben cried.
"What?" Sue snapped.
"Jake's just been sick," Ben laughed, "All over that man in the cloak!"
Sue and Pete turned to see their eleven year old son wiping his mouth on his sleeve and apologizing profusely to the priest, who was covered in strawberry-coloured vomit.
"Oh goodness, I'm so sorry!" Sue gushed, rushing forward to the priest, but recoiling slightly as the smell of sick hit her nostrils.
"Yes, we were just leaving," Pete came over, "our other son also… Ben!" He turned just in time to see his youngest son throw up all over Auntie Angela, who stood and started screaming abuse at him. Ben giggled cheerfully.
The priest opened his mouth, and then closed it again, apparently speechless at the amount of trouble one family could cause. The whole gallery smelt like sick, and everyone who was in it turned to look at the Brockmans.
"I am so sorry…" Pete bit his lip, trying to think of something to say.
The priest who looked like he was about to faint, choked out, "just go… All of you… And don't ever come back."
"Alright, come on Dad… Jake… Ben… Karen… Ben get off the altar!"