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Drabble: Tradition


At first, Finn thought the shrill ringing that had woken him up was his alarm clock, causing him to groan and turn over with the intention of shutting it off. It took him a few seconds to realize that, in spite of the fact that he was repeatedly pressing the snooze bar, the sound wasn’t going away. 

He sat up abruptly when it finally registered that a) it was still pitch black outside (or as pitch black as New York ever got with all the lights) and therefore too early for him to have to get up, and b) the ringing was actually coming from the smoke detector in the kitchen. This would have made most people leap out of bed in a panic, but Finn had a good hunch as to exactly why the smoke alarm was going off at 3am. Throwing back the covers, he lumbered out to the kitchen, rubbing sleep from his eyes as he went. 

His hunch was confirmed as he rounded the corner from the hallway to the kitchen. Rachel was in the middle of the floor, attempting to fan the smoke away from the detector with a dishtowel before it woke up every single one of their neighbours, which had already happened once that week. The sight should have been pretty amusing since Rachel was too short to ever dream of reaching the ceiling and was also about seven months pregnant. She was trying to get closer to the alarm by jumping but, with the extra weight around her midsection, could only manage tiny bounces, much to her obvious irritation.

Without a word, Finn snagged the dishtowel from her hand and took over fanning duty. After about thirty seconds, the blaring alarm finally shut off, leaving an unpleasant ringing in Finn’s ears.

“Rachel,” he said with a sigh. “Why are you obsessing over this?”

His wife’s head whipped in his direction as she glared at him indignantly.

“Because it’s important, Finn! Every good mother should be able to cook her child pancakes and yet, because the universe seems to be against me, I always burn them! I only have two months to get this right!”

Finn surveyed the nearly immaculate counter tops, empty except for a few ingredients essential for pancakes, his eyes fixing on the charred remains of what presumably had been a pancake, sitting in his favourite frying pan.

Inhaling slowly in an effort to keep his patience, Finn said, “Baby, you can cook pretty much everything else in the entire world. Why can’t I just be the one that makes the pancakes?” 

He couldn’t wait until she found something else to be hormonal and neurotic about. The 3am smoke alarm wake-up calls needed to stop.

Rachel plopped dejectedly into one of the kitchen chairs, blowing her bangs out of her eyes (she’d been too tired and busy with the pregnancy to get them trimmed on her regular schedule). 

“I just have this image in my head of waking up an a Saturday morning, before anyone else is up, and surprising everyone with delicious pancakes, like my Daddy did for Dad and I every weekend. I looked forward to those Saturday mornings so much when I was a child,” she explained in a tiny voice. “If I can cook everything else in the world, why can’t I make pancakes?”

If she hadn’t been looking so put out by the situation, Finn would have chuckled. Rachel Berry just hated not being able to perfect a skill, and for some strange reason, no matter how many times she woke up in the middle of the night and tried to make the perfect pancake, she couldn’t get a grip on this one. He could almost feel the frustration coming off her in waves.

“For the same reason that I am hopeless at dancing — you just can’t be good at everything. You’re so talented in so many ways, Rach. Maybe you should leave some of the star power for us regular Joes,” he replied, trying to lighten the mood. 

When she didn’t respond, he continued, “We can still have a Saturday morning tradition like you and your dads did. You might just have to settle for waffles instead of pancakes because you kick ass at making those.”

“Or maybe you could be the one that makes the pancakes,” Rachel replied after a moment of deliberation. “You really are quite amazing at it.”

“See, this is just another reason we were meant to end up together. What are the chances that the one thing you suck at, I can do awesomely?”

“Finn, I don’t think awesomely is a word,” she said, Finn’s favourite, dazzling smile making it’s way onto her lips. “But you make a very good point.”

He grinned back at her. “What do you say we head back to bed? You’re sleeping for two now; you shouldn’t be up at this time of day. No one in their right mind should be.”

“Actually… all this talk of pancakes is making me hungry,” she responded, fixing him with her best doe eyes. “Can please you make us some? Abby really wants them.”

“Using our daughter to get food. Low blow, Rach,” he teasingly reproved. 

She didn’t reply, putting on her signature pout and staring imploringly at him until he rolled his eyes, heading towards the counter where all the proper ingredients were conveniently laid out. 

“Just this once. Let’s not start making 3am on weeknights our new family pancake tradition.”