i’ll never be your mother’s favourite
Request: “Love your writing!! Can you write a Shawn imagine about him being nervous about meeting your family for the first time and he ends up feeling sick the whole way there but you tell him to just relax and it’s just nerves but once you get there later that night he just continues to feel worse and worse and ends up falling really ill and you feel bad for him and take care of him?? And maybe he’s embarrassed about being sick at your parents house??“
Pairing: Shawn Mendes x reader/female character
Rating: Teen and up
John Mayer is playing softly on the radio as they speed past the trees on the side of the highway. Shawn buttons and unbuttons the top button of his shirt in the side view mirror for what feels like the hundredth time. They’re getting closer to her parents’ house and he can feel his stomach turn at the thought of standing in front of them for the first time. He looks hesitantly at the tie in his clammy palms every few seconds.
“Do I have to wear the tie?” he groans. “I feel like I’m already in danger of asphyxiation with this shirt collar.”
“If I have to wear this dress, you have to wear that tie,” she says, eyeing the piece of silk in his lap. “Besides, it was your idea.” She receives nothing but a pitiful expression in response. “Fine,” she gives in. “But you’re helping me out of this damn thing when we get back home.” She rolls her eyes when she sees the smug smile on his face. “Not like that! This dress is tight as hell and I’m going to need help taking it off.”
“Oh, so no sex?” Shawn smirks at her. She smiles and shakes her head as she puts on the blinker and turns onto a smaller road.
He’s spent all afternoon pacing around her apartment, his nerves getting the best of him. He found out only three days ago that he was invited for dinner at her parents’ house, which did not feel like enough time to mentally prepare himself. Thoughts of embarrassing himself by spilling food on himself or saying the wrong thing have plagued him since. Most of all, he’s scared that they won’t deem him suitable for their daughter. He tried telling himself that they will like him because he knows he’s a good boyfriend, and he had made progress until that morning, when the insecurities resurfaced. He had felt sick to his stomach, and barely managed a few pieces of sushi before he arrived at her apartment and the uneasy feeling had only magnified, crept back up his spine and he had nearly vomited. She had reassured him, calmed him down before they left.
He’s had some time to calm himself down since then, he has even tried a mindfulness app, but as they get closer to their destination he can feel that same panic growing in the pit of his stomach. His left leg is bouncing against his will and it’s making him more agitated.
She reaches out her hand and places it on his knee, rubbing gently. “Breathe, baby, just breathe,” she attempts to soothe him. “You’re fine. I love you, and I know that they will too,” she smiles.
“Are the flowers too much? They’re too much. Oh my God. They’re too much aren’t they?” he speaks rapidly, his breath nearly caught in his throat.
“Shawn, they’re fine. Calm down, you’ll be okay. They’re just my parents. Besides, we have this,” she smiles, raising the bottle of Pinot Noir in her hand. “If we bring my parents wine we’re off on the right foot.” She places her hand on his back, him finding some comfort in her touch.
“Okay. Alright. Okay. I can do this,” he tries to convince himself.
The door opens and Shawn rushes to hide the bouquet of purple poms and baby’s breath behind his back. Maybe they’re too much after all. The woman who opens the door stands expectantly with a smile on her face and a welcoming greeting, stretching her arms out to embrace her daughter.
“You must be Shawn,” she turns to him. “It’s so lovely to finally meet you!” she exclaims in a cheerful voice, before going in for a hug. He feels a little relieved now knowing that her mother isn’t the type to intentionally induce fear in her daughter’s partners, but he still feels flustered as he stretches his arm out to reveal the bouquet once she has released her grip on his shoulders. Maybe the flowers are okay, after all.
“These are for you,” he says with a smile.
Apart from the first half hour that’s spent exchanging compulsory pleasantries and answering questions that grill him, Shawn had felt just fine. The anxiety had died down, and he had felt confident that he could get through this, telling himself that it was only a matter of a few more hours. Until dinner. The second they enter the kitchen and the aroma of the steak fills his nostrils he feels a wave of nausea wash over him, and his body suddenly feels significantly warmer. Nonetheless, he makes it through dinner with small bites and quiet words. He voices his appreciation for the steak that her father has cooked and then avoids speaking more than a few words at a time.
“I’m gonna be sick,” he says to her later when they find themselves alone in the living room while her parents are clearing the table. Shawn had insisted to help before being shooed out of the kitchen by her mother. While his palms have stopped sweating, he can feel his chest only getting hotter and his stomach cramp.
“Sweetheart, you have nothing to worry about! You’re the first person I’ve brought home that my dad has actually laughed with, and not at.”
“No, you don’t understand. I’m physically feeling ill, can you show me the bathroom?”
“Shit. Yeah, of course.” She holds onto his arm as she leads him out to the hallway and inside the small bathroom and locks the door behind them. He rests his palms on the edge of the sink, his eyes closed and forehead crinkled. He opens his mouth to speak, then quickly covers it with his hand before leaning over the toilet bowl and emptying the contents of his stomach. She rushes to his side to stroke his back. He hovers over the toilet for a little longer, then turns to the sink to clean up.
“Baby, I think the leftover sushi I ate was bad…” he says. She rubs his shoulders while he rinses his mouth. When he has finished, he turns to her to speak. “What if your dad’s offended that I threw up his food?”
“He’ll understand,” she smiles dismally, soothingly running her fingers through his hair.
Shawn apologises profusely, over and over again for having ruined the evening, but her parents are very understanding and wave them off the front porch when they drive away. They drive home in silence, him whimpering every now and then when he feels his stomach act up and his nausea return. She keeps a hand on his thigh, thumb stroking every now and then. He falls asleep fifteen minutes into the drive and wakes up when the car comes to a stop.
Back at his place, she undresses him and brings him clean clothes to wear before tucking him into bed. She joins him shortly after squiggling out of her own dress and getting into one of his shirts that she claims is actually hers that she’s left behind.
She holds him close after pulling the covers around herself, his back against her chest. He turns at her embrace, facing her and then snuggling his nose against her neck. They lie comfortably in each other’s embrace for a while until he breaks the silence:
“Do you think your parents will ever invite me back?”
She chuckles and strokes his cheek, moving her face down so she can look him in the eyes. “They loved you. Dad actually asked me if you’re free for Thanksgiving, but he asked me to warn him if you were going to be sick again.” She giggles as he groans at her words. She leans forward to kiss him when he stops her with his finger on her lips.
“You can’t kiss me. What if I get you sick?”
“I’ll take my chances,” she smiles, always enamoured of him, and pecks his lips. He nuzzles his face back in her neck, and her hand wraps around his head, scratching at his scalp until they both drift off to sleep.