Title: Take Me Out
Character/s: Gwaine, Leon
Summary: The Camelot Knights are leading by two runs at the top of the ninth inning. Gwaine stops the game to ask Leon a question.
Word Count: 871
Prompt: #415 - Freckle
Author's Notes: Here's a random baseball!AU, coming out of left field (pun intended). Having them out in the sun just made me think of baseball.
Gwaine ducked his head, trying to hide his smile in the shade of his hat.
The Mercia batter dropped his bat in the dirt and trotted easily towards first base. His teammate moved to second to make room for him. The third batter of the inning, Cenred at the top of the order, walked up to the batter's box as Leon stood from home plate. He called for time and brushed past Cenred as he made his way to the mound.
Gwaine looked up as Leon approached, taking his face mask off and tucking it under his arm.
Apparently it took two walked batters to get his attention.
"Are you okay?" Leon asked, holding his glove up to shield his mouth from prying eyes.
Gwaine tipped his hat back so he could get a better look at Leon's face. "What makes you think I'm not okay?"
"You just walked the bottom of their order," Leon said, concern rather than annoyance creasing his brow. Leon never failed to put his pitchers first. "Those should've been easy outs. All of your pitches have been wide to the outside."
"Maybe I'm just distracted," Gwaine said with a shrug.
Gwaine smiled at Leon.
Standing on the mound put Gwaine at almost an even height with Leon, giving him an excellent view of the freckles dusted across Leon's face. They were so fickle, Leon's freckles, there one moment and gone the next, never sticking around long enough for Gwaine to really appreciate them. He'd found, through nearly a season's worth of observation, that they were at their strongest on game days, in the late innings after Leon had spent all afternoon catching behind home plate.
Like they were now, at the top of the ninth, as the sun started to set on a hot summer's day.
Gwaine ignored Leon's question in favor of studying the freckles that ran over the bridge of his nose.
"Do you want to get dinner with me after this?" he asked, grinning when Leon's glove fell away from his face. "Like a date?"
Leon stared at Gwaine for a moment before finding his voice. "Why are you asking me this now?" he asked, his glove completely forgotten.
"No time like the present."
"We're in the middle of a game."
"It's nearly over," Gwaine said, waving his hand at the scoreboard. "We're up by two runs in the top of the ninth."
"With no outs," Leon countered, "and you've walked two batters. The tying run is on first and Cenred's at bat."
Gwaine took a step forward and touched his glove to Leon's chest. He held the touch as Leon's freckles grew stronger against the flush that warmed his cheeks.
"If I close it out and get the win, will you have dinner with me?"
Leon looked down at Gwaine's hand. His brow creased in thought.
"Only if you close it out now," Leon said, the subtle tug of a smile at the corner of his mouth causing Gwaine to grin from ear to ear. "If we go into the bottom of the ninth, no date."
"Deal," Gwaine said, still grinning. He held up his glove and Leon tapped his own against it before turning away from the mound. "Start thinking about where you want to go."
"I like Vietnamese food," Leon called back over his shoulder.
"I know just the place!"
Leon shook his head as he walked back to home plate where Cenred was waiting impatiently, his bat slung over his shoulder. Leon thanked the umpire and looked back at Gwaine for a moment before sliding his face mask on. He took his position and held his arms out - an open invitation for Gwaine to throw whatever pitch he wanted.
Gwaine fixed his hat, smiling as he turned the ball in his hand.
He closed the game with two pitches. Cenred, showing his frustration at being made to wait, bit on a high outside pitch and flew out to center field. The fourth batter hit a grounder right to Elyan who easily tagged out and threw to Percival to finish Mercia off with a double play.
Gwaine jogged over to meet Leon as the team made their way to the dugout.
"And you were worried," he teased, pushing Leon with his shoulder as they walked.
Leon took his face mask off, his freckles still present in the soft glow of dusk.
"Not about the outcome," he said, his smile more valuable to Gwaine then any win. "Only about you."
Gwaine's step faltered mid-stride, his glove hanging loosely from his fingers. He grabbed Leon when Leon looked back for him, unable to stop himself from pulling Leon down by his collar into a kiss. He lost his hat in the process, Leon's hands pushing into his hair as surprise on both their parts quickly warmed into a familiar give and take, not unlike the rapport they'd been building in the bullpen all season long.
Cheers and one lone complaint fell on mainly deaf ears as they broke for air and Gwaine held Leon close enough to count his freckles.
Arthur could stuff it.
As a battery, he and Leon were good.
As a couple, they'd be unstoppable.