velvetfiction: (Default)
[personal profile] velvetfiction
Title: Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet
Fandom: Avengers
Wordcount: ~1500
Rating: G
Characters: Steve, Darcy
Warning(s): baseball terminology, fluff. Lots and lots of fluff.
Notes: So [personal profile] such_heights decided to host an awesome Avengers kissing fest.
And [personal profile] theleaveswant left a cool prompt: "Darcy/Steve, squee"
Which [personal profile] musesfool filled involving Avengers playing softball.
Which led me to go, "Wait, I need fic about Steve learning about Jackie Robinson!!" And then this happened.
So it's really all their fault.
---

Darcy wandered into the living room, shedding her shoes as she went. She wasn't really expecting anyone to be up, for all that Avengers and SHIELD agents kept weird hours. The only ones who might be up at 1am were Bruce or Tony, and if they were, they were more likely to be ensconced in a lab than in front of the TV.

So she was surprised to see the flickering light and a body sacked out on the couch.

"So you're a baseball fan, huh?" she asked, as she sank down onto the couch, next to the other occupant. "Dodgers or Cubs? No, wait, that's a really stupid question."

Steve chuckled softly. "Yeah, it kind of is. I still can't believe they moved to the west coast."

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, neither can a lot of other people. I know there are still people who won't forgive them."

They watched the remainder of the top of the 8th inning in silence. When the commercials came on, Darcy turned to Steve again. She hadn't spent much time with the Captain, although as Maria's assistant, she knew all about him, of course.

"Is it very different than what you remember?"

"The game? Nah, not really. The players are a little bigger and more athletic than I remember, but it's really the same game. It's kind of nice, actually. One thing I don't feel totally lost about. And being able to watch almost any game from the couch - that's something I definitely like about this century!"

Darcy laughed. "Yeah, I think Tony must get every channel on earth. It's definitely something I appreciate."

"So you a baseball fan too?"

"Lifelong Twins fan," she said proudly. "Minnesota Twins. Although you'd know them better as the Washington Senators."

"They moved the Senators? But isn't there a team in Washington now?"

"Let me see if I can remember this all right." Darcy scrunched her nose in thought. "In the late 1950s, I think, they decided to expand the number of teams in baseball. Minneapolis was one of the cities that was granted a team, but for some reason the owners of the Senators wanted to move them. So they moved the Senators to my own home state, and gave Washington one of the expansion teams. Then in the early '70s, that Senators team moved to Texas and became the Rangers. Washington was out a baseball team until 2005, when MLB moved the almost-defunct Montreal Expos there, and they became the current Washington Nationals."

Steve shook his head in amazement or disbelief, Darcy wasn't sure which.

The bottom of the 8th began, and the Dodgers, down a run, quickly got the first two batters on base. Darcy was torn between watching the game, and watching Steve, who seemed to live and die by each pitch.

"Does it bother you?" Darcy asked suddenly, after the Dodgers tied the game on a sac fly.

"Hmm?"

"Seeing teams that are, well, not all-white?"

Steve turned his attention to her fully. "No, not at all. Should it?"

"No, no, of course not. Sorry. I just realized that Jackie didn't start until '47, and that would have been after you, um. You know what? I think I'll just shut up now."

"No, it's okay. I admit, I was a little surprised, the first game I saw. But, well, even back in the '40s, Brooklyn was pretty diverse. Never did understand why the color of someone's skin, or what language they spoke, should matter that much. Yes - yes - go go go!" Steve suddenly cheered, as a deep double cleared the bases, and put the Dodgers up by a run.

He turned back to Darcy. "Jackie - that was Jackie Robinson, right? He was the first black player in baseball?"

"For your very own Brooklyn Dodgers."

"Wish I could've seen it."

Darcy grinned broadly. "Don't move!" She heaved herself out of the couch and looked around the room. As she expected, there was a tablet sitting on one of the end tables. She started to reach for it, but then stopped herself.

"JARVIS? Do you know if this tablet on the end table is going to blow up if I pick it up?" It was not out of the realm of possibility, as Tony's last attempted prank war had proven.

"No, Miss Lewis, I believe Miss Potts and Mr. Banner succeeded in neutralizing all of Mr. Stark's boobytraps on the existing tablets."

"Oh good. Thanks, JARVIS."

"You are most welcome. I believe that you will find that you can pair that tablet with the television, once the baseball game is finished, and show Captain Rogers the video that way."

"You're the best!" Darcy grabbed the non-explosive tablet, and tapped the screen, quickly searching YouTube for the film clips she wanted to show Steve. Having queued up several, she sat back to watch the 9th inning, and cheered just as loudly as Steve when the Dodgers closer pitched a clean 1-2-3 inning, ensuring the team's victory.

"So," Darcy said, tapping the tablet a few times, "let me introduce you to Jackie Robinson."

She watched Steve's face held in rapt attention as she played a mini bio of Jackie and the video of him stealing home plate in the 1955 World Series.

Steve turned to her in wonder. "Thank you," he whispered.

In response, Darcy could only lean forward and kiss him on the cheek before taking herself off to bed. Her mind, however, was spinning with possibilities. She would have to clear it with Maria, and possibly Director Fury himself, but if she could pull it off. . .

---

Several days later, Darcy trotted into the gym, with a backpack slung over one shoulder and a duffle in the other hand.

"Hey, Cap! Take a break! I'm officially kidnapping you."

Steve turned from his abuse of the punching bag, and smiled faintly. "How does one officially kidnap someone?"

Darcy grinned unrepentantly. "Watch and learn. Hit the shower, and then meet me in the garage. Dress casual."

Twenty minutes later, Darcy was easing the car out of the garage and onto 44th Street.

"Are you sure this is okay?" Steve asked, a slight frown creasing his forehead.

"Positive. I talked to Maria, and she got permission from the Director himself. On paper, this is a two day training exercise to further your reintegration into the 21st century. In practice, I'm kidnapping you, with Fury's blessing."

"An official kidnapping. So where are we going?"

"You'll see when we get there. So tell me, Steve, has anyone introduced you to the last seventy years of music?"

"I've picked up a little, just from being around everyone, but, no, not really."

"Well, we've got the whole morning and an entire spectrum of radio stations to work with. Here's how you switch from AM to FM, and here's your tuning dial. Pick a station and let's see what we find."

Darcy learned a great deal about Steve over the next four hours. Songs on the radio led to impromptu history lessons, which led to Steve reminiscing and offering his observations and conclusions. She slowly gained a sense of where Steve Rogers ended, and Captain America began.

The drove steadily north from the city, through the rolling countryside of upstate New York, stopping at a diner for lunch. ("It's nice to know that some things really haven't changed in seventy years," Steve said happily. "Although the coffee is better.")

Finally, Darcy slowed as they entered Cooperstown, and pulled into a large parking lot. Steve had guessed their destination an hour before, when he had first spotted a sign for the town. Darcy had neither confirmed nor denied it, and had merely winked at him and continued to sing along with the radio. Now, walking up to the entrance to the Baseball Hall of Fame, she was glad she had kept her silence. The look of awe on Steve's face was totally worth it.

They spent the afternoon wandering around the Hall, looking carefully at all the exhibits. Darcy mostly stayed quiet, content to watch Steve and answer questions as needed.

"The history classes I liked the most were the ones that focused on the history of one specific thing, and used that as a filter for the rest of US History," she explained over dinner. "Trying to understand all the political and cultural changes this country has gone through since World War II is totally overwhelming. I thought that giving you a focus might help put it in perspective. And since you like baseball so much, it was pretty easy to convince Maria that I needed to bring you here."

"Thank you, Darcy. It did. Help put everything in perspective, I mean. There's so much to take in."

"We can go back in the morning, if you want. We don't need to leave here until after lunch."

"Really?"

The look on Steve's face was so hopeful that Darcy had to laugh. "Really. And we can even stop at another diner on the way home."

Steve's responding smile lit up the room.

Yup, so totally worth it.
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