trexila said: fic request Topside Jack family on father's day
Jack been awake three hours before he hears the girls stir in their bedrooms, the whispers becoming louder and louder until they’re barely below a speaking voice (or below a shouting voice in some cases). He’s already gone out and done the morning chores, minus the egg-collecting since Sally always looks forward to that, so all he has to do now is just wait.
The first year, he came out too early and ruined the ‘surprise’. This year, he knows the drill and he’s prepared with two handyman books and one pulp detective novel on hand. He doesn’t read much of any of them, too busy just listening to the girls through the floor, talking himself of going downstairs to help every time he hears an “oops” or a clang as somebody drops a pan or a bowl, or the rising sound of two girls fighting (and it is almost always Nannie and Abby getting into it over the smallest thing).
The smells coming underneath his doors are various kinds of burnt food-stuffs, bacon and eggs mostly he thinks, though there’s something else he can’t figure out. Occasionally, above the din of chatting and bickering and the occasional yell followed by twenty other girls shushing all at once, there’s Tenenbaum’s voice as she tries her best to organize them. Brigid is a lot of things, including brilliant and ruthless, but a cook isn’t one of those things.
Jack manages to stay put despite his urge to sweep in and just fix everything, and when he hears the girls coming upstairs, he gets back into bed. They move with all the stealth and grace you would expect from nearly two dozen little girls. Mary (one of the Mary’s, he can’t tell which at first) pauses by the door, counting down from seven. They make it to three before someone yanks the door open and they pile in screaming variations of “HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY!”. Anna just shouts “Papa! Papa! Papa!” until Tenenbaum shushes her, and then they scramble onto his bed with him, nearly tipping over the breakfast tray.
It’s covered with scrambled eggs and bacon and toast that they forgot to butter, and Etta stands by the bed, holding a glass of orange juice for him. It’s kind of her and Jack smiles even though he hates orange juice. It’s the thought that counts.
Then he sees something he can’t identify among the eggs and bacon. It’s been burnt like everything else, and he carefully tugs it away from the rest. It flakes apart and the cream inside oozes everywhere, melted partly from the heat of the frying pan. It’s a snack cake. They pan-fried a snack cake for him.
"Happy birthday!" Luella shouts, having already forgotten the holiday.
"Thank you girls, for the wonderful breakfast." Jack gets the breakfast out of the way so he can hug everyone in reach. Tenenbaum takes the juice from Etta and helps her onto the bed with the rest. He loves his daughters so much, even when they’re destroying poor innocent snack cakes in his name. "So, who wants to eat breakfast with me?"
The girls look over at the platter and almost universally make a face. It’s only Hilda who bravely reaches onto the platter and takes a handful of eggs, shoving them into her mouth with the delicate grace he’s come to expect from the seven year old. “It’s good papa!” She says, spraying a little as she speaks between exaggerated chews.
Jack grins. It certainly can’t be worse than what he ate in Rapture. He grabs a fork and has a bite. At least they’re cooked all the way through.
so coz how’s it feel to emotionally destroy people with happy things instead of the usual?
they pan-fried a snack cake