his usual time when Jack arrives at the ballpark only to find Bittle already there
warming up, his slim figure a beacon of red as he runs the bases. The sight of him makes Jack pause. They’ve been doing this for…a while now, and
while Bittle seems determined, he still flinches when a ball comes near him. All of the other teams know he’s a weak spot,
a bruise they can press to make the Falconers roll over and lose. Jack hates it—he’s always hated it—but
sometimes, watching Bittle, he’s not sure if that’s entirely selfish anymore.
wants to play on a winning team. He
wants to win. He wants Bittle to have a hand in it.
you done to, Bitty?” Shitty asks, and Jack startles, turning to glance at
Shitty where he’s come up beside him on the dugout steps. “Soon he’s going to be working harder than
God and you.”
turns back to watch Bittle run. His
form’s good, his legs sure and strong; his arms, too. But they all know that already. That’s why he does what he does. That’s why he’s there. If only he could stop—
Bittle!” Shitty calls, pushing past Jack and onto the field. “You’re making us look bad!”
head turns as he’s rounding second and a smile flashes across his face before
he changes course to jog over to them.
He’s only a little breathless when he reaches them.
sleep,” he says, tugging on the sleeves of his sweatshirt. They’re too long, and Jack feels something
about that fact, though he can’t tell what.
“Looks like I beat you.”
Shitty laughs. “I was going to tell you you’re going to have
to get up a lot earlier in the morning to beat Jack Zimmermann, but I think
“Takes us a while to get any traction, I’ll give you that one. But let’s do a head count here: your brother, the demigod; a super soldier, a living legend who kind of lives up to the legend; a man with breathtaking anger management issues; a couple of master assassins…and you, big fella, you’ve managed to piss off every single one of them.”
For @wrm1225, “i would like to see a fic where Lardo & Shitty spend a drunken weekend in Vegas. maybe they get married by an Elvis impersonator or something. LOL”
Someone is shaking Shitty’s shoulder.
“Shitty… Yo, Shitty, you awake?” a soft voice says. It’s Lardo’s voice; Lardo must be in the bed with him. Shitty groans and cracks open one eye, staring up at the hotel room ceiling, the fan circling above them making the room even spin more.
“What’s up, Lards?” He mutters, rubbing at the bridge of his nose and trying to push back the throbbing hangover threatening to come on full-force.
“What time is it?” Lardo asks, pulling some of the sheets off of Shitty as she curls into a little ball at his side.
“We’re supposed to meet Bitty and the boys for brunch at 11,” she says. Shitty snorts; who the fuck (besides Bitty) goes for brunch when they are in Las Vegas?
“A lot of people,” Lardo answers, turning over to face him. “You said that out loud.”
“I stand by it,” Shitty grunts. “Who the fuck would wake up for brunch?”
“C’mon, doesn’t a bloody mary sound good right now?” she asks. Shitty frowns thoughtfully; actually, it does.
“Ok,” he says, gingerly pushing himself up onto his elbows, “Let me just shower and…” he takes a second to take in his surroundings. “This isn’t my room.”
“It’s mine,” Lardo replies, swinging her legs over the edge of the bed. “You swung by after Jack wouldn’t come out to the late night club with you.”
Jack watches the young man from the second he turns onto the street and starts heading down it towards Jack’s house. He pauses every so often to check his phone, and Jack’s a little worried, because it’s Thanksgiving and the man looks like he might be hopelessly lost. He’s bundled up against the cold, a duffle bag slung over his shoulder, woolly hat pulled over his ears.
“What are you looking at?” Shitty asks, joining Jack at the window. Lardo’s back in Boston, stuck with her parents for the holiday, but Shitty had done everything he could to avoid dealing with his family. They’ve got a few boxes of Chinese takeout on the coffee table and are planning to watch the History Channel.
“Lost guy,” Jack says, pointing him out.
“Oh, poor bro, he looks cold,” Shitty says. “We should invite him in.”
Her family and old friends don’t know about her nickname. It takes a week or so to adjust to being Larissa again.
Larissa wakes up early because likes a few quiet moments to lie in bed and not think before her parents get up. She stretches and inspects the crack in her bedroom ceiling. It’s been there as long as she can remember and it’s grown from a small friendly spider into the road map of an old city with roads laid out like spaghetti. The plaster is old. The house is old. Everything in Boston is old, except for what’s brand new.