The House of Smith
By: Maddie Raye
Disclaimer: If you recognize it, it's not mine.
Author's Note: In this AU, the doctors are all members of the Smith family and live in one great big house. I did their ages by what age suited each of them best, not chronologically, which is why Two is a little kid, while Three is an adult. One and Three are brothers. Three is married, while One's wife died several years before. One's kids are Nine, Seven, Six, and Two. Three's sons are Five, Eight, Four, Ten, and Eleven. And all their names are variants of "John". I got this idea loosely from another fic somewhere, but I don't remember the name.
Ian Smith was mostly what you would call an average teenage boy. Granted, he was rather rebellious, but what else should his teachers expect from a sixteen year old with a large family? Ian was of the Smiths, a well-renowned family who lived in the local town for centuries, up on the manor. His family was rather large and rather eccentric.
A horn honked as he walked down the street, starting his walk back from school. It was his cousin Evan, in his old beaten-up minivan his father lent him. Ian wished that someday he could drive the minivan, but as the oldest child, and a high school senior, Evan got the van privileges. Not that Evan made him jealous of course; he was one of the nicest people Ian could have for an older cousin. Evan had long blonde hair and liked cricket a lot, so he wore a cricket jacket and sweater with blue jeans. Evan had long blonde hair and liked cricket a lot, so he wore a cricket jacket and jumper with blue jeans, which Ian thought looked ridiculous.
"Come on, Ian, get in!" said Evan through the open window, as he left the school parking lot and slowed to a halt next to him. "Can't my walk home be the only time I get to myself?" Ian replied. Having a large family, solitude was a rarity. "Nope" said Evan with a wide grin. "If you don't come in, I'll send Jonny with you!"
This got Ian into the back seat of the van. Being stuck having to walk home with his fourteen-year-old cousin, who was grinning at him from the front seat, would be far worse than the daily pick-up. He called it the "caravan", since by the time they arrived home, the van would be filled with kids. It's not as if Jonny was unpleasant or gross at all. Jonny, short for Jonathan, was his cousin, Evan's younger brother, and was an smaller, exaggerated version of Evan. Both were quiet boys who kept themselves, and were not at all popular, or up on pop culture. Both were very kind people, but quiet. They were the polar opposites of Ian, who was a rebel with short hair who had a lot of friends. Both of them were talking animatedly in the front seat as Evan drove to pick up the other kids, and it sounded like one of them put of classical music, of all things! The sad thing was that Ian couldn't tell whose idea it was. He pulled out the book he was reading in his spare time- for a rebel, he was a bit of a secret nerd. In fact, his whole family was a bunch of geniuses, he was just one of the few who was "cool". The rest of them insisted on wearing strange clothes, while Ian was the only one who got into wearing normal clothes.
Evan pulled into the parking lot of the grade school after about five minutes of driving, and got out to a horde of children. He did the usual head count, and then called out "SEAN!"
Ian figured he had better help fetch Sean. Sean was five years old, his younger brother, and was quite a handful. So he got out of the van to help solve whatever problem Sean had come up with this time, leaving Evan to load the children into the van and get them all to sit down and buckle up (not an easy task). Ian found little Sean about thirty feet away, holding hands with his best friend, Jamie. The two kindergarteners were being closely watched by their teacher, who had surreptitiously led her crowd of five-year-olds to their end, so as to keep an eye on the two. Sean and his friend Jamie were nearly inseparable, and his father and uncle were very much used to having him come over to the Smith house on play-dates.
"Sean, it's time to go. Why didn't you come with the others?" asked Ian, crouching down to Sean's level so as to look him in the eye. Sean didn't trust people who towered over him, so this was the only way Ian knew to get his youngest brother to cooperate.
Sean said in his small but somehow commanding voice "Jamie's mummy had to go away for the week, so can he stay with us?" with a tone in that suggested extreme hopefulness. Ian looked from his brother to Sean's "bestest friend in the universe", who was giving Ian puppy-eyes. Jamie didn't really have anywhere else to go when his mother left on business trips, and his father vanished when Jamie was just a baby. Jamie's mother left quite a lot, so Jamie was practically a member of the family at this point. So Ian said "come along you two." The two youngsters shouted in delight and ran, hand in hand, to the crowded minivan. Upon arriving, he got a reprimand from Evan
"What took you so long? The kids are getting restless. I was almost going to leave you behind and make you walk!" said Evan, looking utterly serious. But Ian knew his cousin, Evan would never make Ian walk all the way home from the grade school, it was a good fifteen minutes away from their home. With a smile on his face, Ian got in again, put on a set of headphones, and started to read, ignoring the raucous children surrounding him. This was a harder task than it seemed, since his seven-year-old brother Skip was looking surly and had a black eye, and his already half-insane cousin Ewan looked as he was about to burst with all the energy he was being forced to contain; somebody must have given him candy. Ian sighed, it was going to be another insane evening for the Smith family.
Evan pulled the minivan into the family's driveway in front of their house, which was either a large house or a small manor, Ian couldn't figure out which it was. As the van doors opened, and the younger kids ran out in excitement to be back home, they were greeted by a little brownish blur, which turned out to be Shane, a three-year-old bundle of hyperactivity. He enthusiastically greeted his brothers and cousins, and immediately ran off into the house with Sean and Jamie. Next out of the car was Evan, who was carefully escorting a grumpy Skip into the house. Skip, whose real name was Giovanni (but thought it was a "sissy name"), was Ian's brother, and was a bit of the bully to the other kids. He had a kind heart, but he was loud, rude, and complained often about how his classmates were so woefully unintelligent little apes in comparison to his genius. In addition, he insisted upon wearing the most colorful coat ever, which meant that Skip got a lot of teasing. Being the type of child that didn't take easily to teasing, Skip got into a lot of fights with the rest of the second graders. Evan, taking charge as the eldest, led a grumpy and surly Skip into the house.
Closely following Evan and Skip was Ian's brother Eoin. Eoin was a strange boy. He was twelve years old, and could outsmart most grown-ups effortlessly. He kept to himself, but he was apparently an expert at manipulating his peers (and his teachers), causing a lot of problems at school. At the moment, he had his nose buried in a book that he made a paper cover for, so that nobody else could tell what he was reading. Ian rolled eyes at the typical display of secretive behavior from his brother, who sometimes seemed utterly determined to have his picture in the dictionary, next to the word "mystery".
Last out of the car were Jonny, Ewan, and Ian himself. Jonny and Ewan were both Ian's cousins. Jonny had long brown hair that came to his shoulders, wore fancy-looking clothing that almost looked like it came out of another era, and like Eoin, had his nose buried in a book. Ewan was sort of wandering towards the house, but was moving in every direction in a squiggly pattern, while singing to himself and snacking on his seemingly endless stash of jelly babies. The curly-haired nine-year-old boy in the argyle overalls and long stripy scarf had a huge grin on his face, and he too ran into the house as he heard his name called.
Ian walked into the manor house to find… pandemonium. Not that he expected anything different, of course. Not with ten kids running around loose. Although to be fair, only four were running, and one was crawling behind them, eager to follow. But still, they were tough to keep track of. Ian's father was still off at work, meaning that it was only his Uncle John and Aunt Jo who were responsible adults at the time. Uncle John was in the garage, tinkering with his numerous gadgets, as he was wont to do whenever he had free time, leaving Aunt Jo to take care of the kids. Poor Auntie Jo, Uncle John hadn't figured on Evan locking himself in his room as soon as he arrived, and therefore not bothering to help. At the moment, Auntie Jo was tending to Skip's black eye, applying some sort of cream to it. Skip did not look happy to be stuck in a chair, but looked very pleased to have someone fussing over him, even if it was only his aunt.
Ian decided to go to his room, which he shared with Eoin, and to play games on his computer until dinnertime, in a couple of hours. He could spend a little less time with his rambunctious siblings. He started to play loud music, to keep Eoin out in case he decided to bother him, although he wasn't sure Eoin would care. He seemed pretty content to play Jonny in chess, and he was most likely winning, considering the look on Jonny's face.
Not long after, Ian's father was back from work. Johann Smith was the de facto patriarch of the family. He was the man who owned the house; the only reason his brother's family lived with him was because he got lonely after his wife died several years ago, and John's house wasn't big enough for four children with one on the way. He was a no-nonsense sort of man, in his mid-fifties, who was somewhat of a grump. But at times, he was a playful man with a sense of humor, and an all-around gentleman. He came home with a loud "Good evening, everyone", and everybody (including Uncle John) went to greet him.
"Hi, Uncle Johann."
"Hi, Mr. Smith." This was from Jamie, whose presence initially surprised Johann, but upon seeing his son Sean standing really close to the boy, accepted the addition to the household for the evening. It wasn't anything he wasn't used to, considering how much time the two bous spent with one another. He understood the strangely close friendship between his youngest and this boy.
"Hello Johann, my dear chap." This was from John, who gave Johann a curt handshake.
This last was of course from baby Ivan, who looked delighted, as usual, to see someone new arrive, not really caring who it was, and decided to join in the commotion from his current position atop Ian's shoulders. Ian liked his cousin Ivan. Ivan was such a sweet, adorable baby, who held deep in his green eyes the intelligence, excitement, and curiosity that was a part of every member of the Smith family. He was friendly, always smiling at everybody, wanting to take part in everything; even though he couldn't understand anything that happened, he could feel the strong emotions of the people around him, as all babies can. Ivan continued to babble and giggle in delight from atop Ian's shoulders as Ian's Uncle John, who was very tall, was making silly faces at him at eye level. Ian smiled, and felt a surge of delight that he had such a wonderful family. His friends at school didn't have large families like he did, and those that did (like the Masters family) weren't as happy as he was.
Dinnertime was always an interesting affair. Ian watched his father take his seat and imperiously survey the large gathering of family (and Jamie). At the moment, he sat at one end of the long dining room table, cane on the side of his chair. He didn't really need the cane, it was mostly for show (and for hitting people). He was waiting patiently as John, Jo, and Evan were bringing the food out from the kitchen. There was always a lot of food, considering the amount of people that were there. After saying grace, everybody began to eat.
On Ian's left side, his dad was going down the line of people asking for the highlight of everybody's day, and as usual was getting more information than he expected. Ian listened; there was always one or two funny stories involved. First up was Skip.
"Goodness me, my dear boy, what happened to you, hmm?"
Skip replied "Andy Masters said that my pretty coat was stupid, so I punched him during recess. He played dirty and got my face, but I won, Dad! Oh here, the headmaster has another note for you about me." He then handed the slip of paper to his father, who accepted this notice of Skip's behavior. This was the third one this week. Skip had a big grin on his face, obviously proud of himself.
"Heavens, my dear boy" said Johann, not knowing to think of his somewhat violent and rather brash seven-year-old son. He then focused on Ewan.
"And what did you do today in school, Ewan?"
Ewan looked pretty upset once he was asked. "There's this new girl in my class called Romana, and she has better grades than I do! Nobody beats me!" Ian sympathized with Ewan, being a genius was lovely until you found someone who was smarter and more boastful about it. And in fifth grade, all the children were boastful of any skill they might have. No wonder Ewan was taking it pretty hard. He almost had as much self-pride as Skip did, which was saying a lot.
"And you, Shane? What did you do today?"
Shane was, as usual, excited to be addressed directly, and said at top speed without breathing "Uncle Johann, today I was playing with my new friend Donna from next door and then we went digging in the sandbox but then we hit the bottom so we decided to dig in the ground and we didn't find any dinosaur bones but we found some old shoes and dog doo-doo and we found a bunch of flat orange and while pieces of paper about this big but we couldn't play with them because Donna's mummy made us go inside and then we ate sandwiches and then we-"
"Thank you, that'll be enough." said Johann. He moved on to Ian, who merely said that he had a dull day and the only interesting thing that happened was the school lunch catching fire. Eoin too had nothing to relate except for how he managed to outwit someone in a game of riddles, but that was hardly new with him. When Johann got to Jonny, Jonny blushed, sunk lower in his chair, and mumbled something indistinct about study hall, although Ian suspected that there was more to that story, and was impressed that Jonny had something to hide.
On the other hand, Sean had a great deal to say about his adventures in kindergarten.
"Dad, married is when two best friends love each other, right?"
"Yes, why do you ask, Sean, hmm?"
"I'm gonna marry Jamie!"
At this Johann spat out his tea into his cup. So did Uncle John, and most of the kids started to laugh.
"WHAT? You can't marry Jamie, boys can only marry girls! And only grown-ups get married."
Sean replied indignantly "But I don't have any girl best friends! Jamie is my best friend and I like him very very much. Girls have cooties." At this Jamie added his assent "Cooties are icky. We don't want any cooties."
Johann sighed, took another sip of his tea, and then said "Later, my dear boy, I'm going to have to explain to you the difference between the love in friendship and romantic love." He turned to Evan, who had excused himself to go to the restroom, and then began to talk to his younger brother about grown-up matters such as utility bills and John's newer gadgets.
Ian turned his attention back to his food. Down by Auntie Jo, Ivan had made a huge mess of food all over the high chair, himself, and her shirt. He was currently occupying himself by throwing bits of carrot at Ewan, who looked to be trying very hard to restrain himself from throwing food back at Ivan, since he was his baby brother and didn't know any better. Jamie and Shane were cheering Skip, who looked as if he was trying to beat a speed record in eating all the food off his plate. This was confirmed by the sight of Jonny timing Skip on his rather anachronistic pocket-watch. There was a shout as Skip finished, Shane, Sean, and Jamie cheered, and Jonny declared "three minutes and forty-seven seconds. Your best time yet." Uncle John shook his head as he watched the boys, both smiling and tutting at them.
Soon after, dinner was over and done with, and everybody went off again to do their own thing. Ian went to his room to go do his homework, to find Eoin was doing the same thing. Together they sat quietly finishing their homework, and tried to ignore the distant shouting of small children from downstairs. About twenty minutes later, Ian was just finishing up to find Eoin playing solitaire with what appeared to be three decks of cards. He was sitting on the floor mumbling to himself while at least a dozen piles of cards were strewn in an arc shape around him. Ian had no idea how or why he did strange stuff like this (although most of his family did odd things) and decided to go downstairs. On his way down, he grabbed Shane, who was about to slide down the banister of the long staircase. Ian knew from personal experience that this was not a good idea, as there was a post at the end that hurt rather a bit upon collision, and so imparted this information upon his young cousin. Shane looked downcast for a second, but then in a matter of moments, ran off to play with Skip, Sean, and Jamie. Ian chuckled to himself, since the little ones were always bundles of fun. He flopped into a chair in the living room, where some of the family was watching the football game, and decided he was going to enjoy the rest of his evening. No matter that it was average; to most families this would be considered exciting and unusual. Ian counted himself lucky to have his wonderful family.