A/N: Hey, guys. This is an upload of a story I wrote based on prompts on tumblr, and published on there. The original prompt was for Jemma to visit Fitz's family at Christmas, and for them to be quite crzily Scottish.
"I jus' want to warn you, before we go inside, that my family can be a bit… much." Fitz said as they stood outside at the end of the path that led to his childhood home. It was exactly as she'd expected it, a semi-detached 2 bedroom with a wreath on the door and rather damp tinsel on the rusted gate, which he unlatched and kicked open with a practised air, dragging their bags up to the front door.
"You've said that about five times since the airport. They can't be that bad." Simmons assured him. She was far more worried about what his family would think of her than what she'd think of them. She desperately wanted them to like her, and the intensity of this desire confused her, frankly. She supposed she just didn't want Christmas to be awkward, as she'd be staying the whole holiday. Her parents were visiting her aunt, who had recently immigrated to Australia, and as soon as Fitz had found out she had no one to spend the holidays with he had his phone out and was dialling. Five minutes later, she was invited to come home with him this year. It had all happened so quickly, she hoped the Fitz family didn't resent her intrusion.
Her thoughts were cut off by the sound of Fitz knocking on the door. She heard a dog barking, and in a moment the door was open, and a large man whose fair, curly hair and broad grin could only have made him Fitz's father was standing there. She started to smile, but it faltered in surprise as she looked down and saw him wearing a kilt. She'd always assumed that was more of a rural tradition, not something she'd come across in the largest city in Scotland, but she shrugged mentally. To each their own.
"Come in, fer Jesus' sake, get yourselves out of this cold!" He rumbled in a deep, Scottish baritone. She looked at Fitz, who almost seemed to be avoiding her eyes as he stepped inside, muttering a quiet "Hi, Dad, this is Jemma" before dumping the bags at the foot of the stairs. Jemma followed him in, smiling at his father as she went, and was hit by the smell of ginger and oranges before she was physically hit by a small, furry animal. She almost fell over at the impact, but Fitz grabbed her arm to steady her.
"You ok?" he asked, and after she nodded he crouched down and said to the dog, "Calm down, Sally!" Sally didn't listen, only got more excited, lunging for Fitz and knocking him backwards. He caught himself on his hands, laughing and trying to push away the dog who was now leaping up to lick his face. "Yes- mmph- I missed you too, girl. Calm down, will ye?" His accent had been seeming to grow stronger every minute they spent in his home country and here, in his family home, his burr was as thick as that of the taxi driver who'd brought the from the airport. She found it endearing, and couldn't help but smile down at him.
"Get yerself gone, ye daft animal, let him up!" Mr. Fitz grabbed Sally's collar and pulled her away and out of the room so Fitz could stand back up. "Y'alright there, son?" he asked when he returned.
"Yes, ta, Dad. Where's Mum?"
"In the kitchen. Hang on- MARY!" Mr. Fitz's booming voice rang through the house, and it was all Jemma could do not to physically jump at the sound. Leo rolled his eyes, and held his hand out for her coat. She smiled at him and slipped it off, handing it to him before smoothing down her skirt self-consciously.
The kitchen door opened, the smell of ginger intensifying. "I can hear ye, Malcolm, there's no need to bellow the place down. Are they here?" A short, round woman with wild red hair came into the living room wearing a flour covered apron over her dress.
"No, I just thought I'd start yellin' fer no reason. Of course they're here, woman!" Malcolm replied, gesturing to a returning Fitz, who'd stowed his and Jemma's coats under the stairs.
"Well, I can see that. Oh, come here, Leo, let me look at ye." She held Fitz- Leo- by the shoulders and looked him up and down. "Yer too skinny. Ye don't eat well enough over there." She scowled at him, and looked so much like him in that moment that Jemma couldn't help but smile.
"You say that every year, Mum. I eat fine, Simm- Jemma's a good cook, she's been teachin' me." He replied, shooting Jemma a smile. Mary turned to look at her, and she felt a lot like a deer staring into the headlights of an oncoming truck. She crossed the room and held her hand out.
"Jemma Simmons. P-pleased to meet you." She cursed herself for stammering, it was a habit she'd had as a young teenager that she thought she'd all but grown out of. She glanced at Leo and knew he'd noticed from the way he was looking searchingly at her, and the way he moved to stand by her side. His mother looked between the two of them, then took Jemma's hand and shook it.
"Mary Fitz. Glad te hear ye've been takin' care of my boy." She smiled warmly, and Jemma breathed an internal sigh of relief. Mary started suddenly, dropping Jemma's hand and running back into the kitchen with a cry of "don't ye dare move, either of ye!"
Simmons looked at Leo for information, but he just shrugged and looked at Malcolm, who rolled his eyes. "Ye know what she gets like, lad. Actually, hang on, I know what she'll want in a second." He rushed upstairs, and Leo groaned loudly.
Before Jemma could ask what was wrong, Mary returned, balancing a tray of ginger cookies on one hand and holding a camera in the other. She set the cookies down on the coffee table, then pointed the camera at them both. "Say cheese!" Jemma smiled reflexively, and the flash went off. Mary looked at the picture on the small screen, then scowled up at Leo again. "Leo Fitz, you smile and put your arm aroun' that girl right now or so help me Jesus, I'll-"
"Alright, Mum!" Leo cried, and gave Simmons an apologetic half smile before putting his arm around her. Not around her shoulders, like she'd been for some reason expecting, but around her waist. The muscles in his arm tightened, bringing her closer, their sides pressed together. She couldn't remember having ever been this close to him, but all the time they'd spent in labs together, she must have been. He smelled of his usual cologne and ever so faintly of solder. It wasn't a smell she'd ever noticed before.
Mary cleared her throat and this time Jemma did jump. She'd just been caught smelling Fitz! By his mother! She was ready to die of embarrassment, but manage to plaster a smile on to her face long enough for another picture to be taken. Once it was over, Fitz let go of her. She felt oddly cold, even though the house was warm.
"That's lovely, that is," Mary said, looking at the photo. "Honestly, lad, did ye think I'd let ye get away with bringin' a girlfriend home for the firs' time ever, and not take a wee photo? Now I can prove to Gladys across the way that you're not" she lowered her voice conspiratorially, "…gay."
She didn't seem to have noticed that both Leo and Jemma had frozen while she was speaking. Leo was staring at his mother in horror, and Jemma could already feel a bright blush working its way up her face.
"Have some ginger cookies, they're fresh. Yer Uncle Rory'll be here soon, so best get started afore he eats 'em all!"
"Mum." Leo's voice came out sounding quite strangled. "Jemma an' I, we aren't- we're not… y'know… together." He was also going red, she could see from the corner of her eye. She didn't dare look at him fully."
"Don't be daft, lad!" Malcolm sounded from the foot of the stairs, and both halves of Fitzsimmons jumped this time. "D'ye think your mother an' I were born yesterday? We know what it means when a boy brings a girl home fer Christmas. Te sleep in the same room, no less!"
Leo went even redder, and muttered "I'm sleeping on the floor."
"Suuuure y'are. Wha'ever you say." Malcolm tapped the side of his nose and winked. Jemma felt like she might spontaneously combust out of sheer mortification right there in the Fitz's living room.
"Dad!" Fitz yelled. "We're no' datin'! We're jus' friends, honestly! Really, really good friends." Leo sat down on the sofa and picked up a ginger biscuit. He bit into it viciously, and Jemma took this as a cue to mean the subject was closed. She smiled weakly at both of his parents, before joining him on the sofa (as far away from him as she could physically sit) and picking up a biscuit herself.
"Mmmm! These are lovely, Mrs Fitz!" she enthused, desperate to change the subject.
"Thank you, m'dear," Mary replied with a beaming smile, just as eager to move on. "Malcolm, don't jus' stand there, play somethin'! It's Christmas isn' it?" Leo groaned again, and Jemma looked around confused, until she saw what was on the stairs behind Mr Fitz.
"Are those… bagpipes?" She was surprised by how traditional the Fitz's were, considering they lived in Glasgow, and had raised the progressive, forward-thinking Leo.
"They are indeed, ma bonnie wee lass!" Malcolm replied, and out of the corner of her eye Jemma saw Leo rubbing his temple, a sure sign he was getting irritated. "Anythin' ye'd like me ta play?"
Her mind went blank. Did she know any bagpipe songs? What songs can one even play on the bagpipes? "Um, whatever you like to play best?"
"Aye, well then how abou' Amazing Grace? 'Tis a classic, after all."
"That sounds lovely." Jemma smiled. Sitting next to her best friend, eating a delicious homemade cookie, she couldn't help but be amused by everything that had happened to them in the past ten minutes. She looked at Fitz, still rubbing his temples, and nudged him slightly. He looked up at her, and smiled too. He relaxed back into the sofa and she relaxed back next to him as his father began to play. After all, they could handle anything: embarrassment, awkwardness or overly enthusiastic dogs as long as they faced it together.