Trans-boy Eric Bittle played softball all through high school and was an amazing pitcher
Samwell brings him on to play baseball and everyone is impressed by his skill, but here’s the thing: his overhand pitching sucks ass
Jack “Pitching Legend” Zimmermann helps Eric learn to switch from underhand to overhand with extra practice
Because of the Sandlot, Bitty is occasionally called Smalls
This brings a whole new depth to Bitty trying to fit in with the Bros™, while not realizing that his personality is perfect the way it is
In the inevitable coming out scene, Bitty starts his period right before a game and since the HRT he hasn’t been getting them often and he’s not prepared. He’s on the verge of tears in the locker room and Second Baseman Shitty (who has a perfect view of Jack’s ass) is like “Dude are you alright do you need to see the trainer?” and Bitty just really softly says “I started my period.” Without missing a beat, Shitty goes “Oh shit, no worries. I always carry tampons on me because Lardo is crazy irregular and never remembers to bring any with her. I got you, man.” And Bitty could cry with relief.
Give me Bitty in a backwards baseball cap and baseball pants trying to spit sunflower seeds and he just CAN’T because it’s making such a mess!!! And Jack is just HEART EYES MUTHAFUCKA because Bitty’s got one leg propped up on the wall of the dugout.
Give me Bitty who elected to have top surgery after receiving the scholarship because now he has this big leftover college fund. His nervous about the scars in the locker room.
Give me Former Fat Kid Jack Zimmerman with all his stretch marks on his hot bod clapping Bitty on his shoulder and being like “Man, we’ve all got stretch marks.”
GIVE ME LARDO AND BITTY BONDING OVER SOFTBALL
YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF SOFTBALL BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE SOFTBALL OUT OF THE BOY
Give me Bitty who bakes up a storm in the Haus and who tears up when Outfielder!Holster and Ransom kiss him on the cheek and call him Mom because that was what the softball girls used to call him in high school. It makes him so nostalgic.
Bitty who sometimes wears make up when they dress up for away games because he likes it RIP IN PIECES JACK ZIMMERMAN
Bitty who pitches his first perfect inning and gets a huge hug from Jack
When Jack and Bitty finally start dating, the team channels The Sandlot once more and start calling Jack Benny
My sweet French Canadian Jack who at some point realizes he is sitting at MooMaw’s kitchen table in Georgia eating apple pie while waiting for the Fourth of July fireworks display and his boyfriend is wearing cut off daisy dukes and an American flag crop top and a backward baseball cap and that they both play baseball and Jack just shouts “JE SUIS QUEBECOIS!!”
He can hear a child’s laughter in the back room. The girl is learning numbers today, and apparently the word “eight” is the funniest thing she’s heard in her life.
Eros smiles at the sound of it, leaning against the counter. The sun comes in from the store front windows, beams tucking gently into his hair.
“You know,” he tells the owner of the coffee shop, “you might want to bring her around next week. I could show her a thing or two.” He swipes at an imaginary speck on the counter. “What it means to be an Olympian. After all,” and he now cocks a grin, leftover college boy, “she’s got part of me.”
Psyche laughs. Then she leans over the counter, smile just as kind and just as cruel since the last time he bothered to check in. Her dark curls fall over her cheek, and Eros forgets himself and swallows.
“My daughter,” she says, deceptively soft and smelling of cinnamon and fresh air, “is nothing like you."
Eros looks into her eyes and finds no forgiveness there. "I know,” he whispers.
Psyche doesn’t reply. She instead whisks a doughnut off the platter and hands it over to her ex-husband.
“I didn’t order that,” he protests.
“Complimentary,” she tells him. “As thanks for stopping by."
Eros swallows again and takes it. He wishes she would scream at him, slap him, lash out. Then they could have gotten somewhere.
But instead their child bursts out the back room, giggling and tangling herself between her mother’s legs. Her plump toddler hands reach up to her, and Psyche acquiesces and props her up on her hip.
Eros waves and his daughter waves back, not aware of who he is. She leans her head on her mother’s shoulder, and Psyche one-handedly maneuvers a sleeve over his coffee cup. Eros withdraws his wallet, but Psyche waves him away. "It’s on the house,” she says.
“Forget it,” he snaps, but she stops him again.
“Really,” she promises. “I don’t want your money, Eros.”
He looks at her and the picture she makes. A coffee shop, a baby, a family. A woman who stands on her own two feet.
As if hearing his thoughts, she keeps his gaze and presses a kiss to her baby’s forehead.
After all, what’s money to their baby?
(Who won, really?)
Eros makes a noise in the back of his throat. “Psyche,” he pleads, not sure if he’s talking about money anymore. The cash trembles in his fist.
She pushes it away. “Don’t worry about it.”
Eros puts his wallet away and grabs his coffee and walks to the door. Suddenly, the words spill out of his mouth and he turns around to beg, “Can’t I just see her part time?"
And Psyche, sweet Psyche, meets his eyes, and damns him with a sympathetic smile: "Tell your mother I said hi.”
The first time it happens, Alex is fourteen and she’s watching a movie with her dad. She doesn’t even realise she’s spoken out loud until he turns to her with a strange look on his face. Alex blushes. She hadn’t meant to speak out loud, had just been thinking ‘I’m so gay’ while watching Sigourney Weaver get up close and personal with Winona Ryder.