Word Count: 1,116
Notes: leupagus is hosting a 'Take Your Fandom Home With You Day,' in which you write a fic about characters being in your hometown. For those of you who don't know, I grew up in Wall, New Jersey, so I brought Danny home... and Steve came, too.
“I don’t think we can eat here, Danny.”
“What?” Danny sets the menu carefully on his knees. “What, why, what’s wrong with it?”
Steve looks pointedly out the windshield at their waitress, who is carefully balancing a tray full of the greasiest food he’s ever seen on her shoulder while whizzing past on roller skates. “Do I even need to answer that?”
“This,” Danny huffs, “this is the Circus Drive-In, this is a quintessential part of eating around here, Steven, so suck it up and drink your Creamsicle and pick something out before I pick it out for you.”
“Where are we?” Steve asks desperately. “Are we in hell? Did we cross some sort of state line into hell, Danny?”
Danny spreads his hands in front of him. “Welcome to Wall, babe.”
Steve blinks at Danny, looks down at his menu, blinks again. “We’re in a town called Wall?”
“Next town over is Brick,” Danny adds, and Steve would think Danny was just fucking around with him, but that’s Danny’s ‘informing you of the truth is so much better than yanking your chain’ tone, so Steve’s pretty sure it’s true.
The waitress knocks on Danny’s window, which he rolls down. She hooks a weird sort of tray thing over the window frame and sets a few plates onto it, and the whole thing teeters a little precariously over the pavement outside the car. French fries, onion rings, and some sort of small, roundish things, dredged in batter and deep-fried, sit on paper trays as the waitress speaks. “You gentlemen decided what you want yet?”
“Burgers,” Danny tells her with a smile. “Two Whaddas, medium’s fine, thanks. And I think my friend here needs another Creamsicle, when you get a minute.”
“Sure thing,” the girl replies, skating off without writing a damn thing on her floppy little notepad.
“What did you just order me?” Steve asks when she’s out of earshot. Danny ignores him in favor of picking up the little paper tray of unidentifiable deep-fried things. “And what are you easting?”
Danny picks one out and sticks it between Steve’s lips before he can think to protest, and Steve bites on reflex. It’s good; it’s really, good, actually.
“Corn fritters,” Danny replies, popping one into his mouth. “Proof that God loves me and wants me to be happy, babe, even if he has stuck me with you.”
“They’re not bad,” Steve allows, reaching for another. The fries and onion rings are actually just as good – deep-fried, yeah, but crisp and golden and crunchy. The burgers come out with about a million things on them other than a patty – onions and tomatoes and lettuce and- “Danny, what the hell is this?”
“Pork roll,” Danny says around his mouthful of burger, a blissful look on his face.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Pork roll, Steve, what about the words pork roll is so hard to understand-”
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s the part where you actually expect me to eat something called pork roll-”
Danny rolls his eyes, picks up Steve’s burger, and shoves it against his face. Steve saw the move coming, yeah but there’s not a whole lot he can do other than take a bite, because knocking it away will get it all over their rental and keeping his mouth shut will get it al over his face. He chews quickly at first, then thoughtfully, before picking off a piece of the pork roll and eating it on its own.
Danny’s smiling at him. “Good, huh?”
“What is it?” Steve asks, tearing another piece off and eating it.
“That, babe, that’s one of those questions you don’t want to ask too loudly, because someone might overhear and actually answer you.”
Steve winces. “Is this one of those things that I’m going to look up when we get home and want to throw up for?”
“It’s not as bad as scrapple,” Danny says, not meeting Steve’s eyes, which is the point at which Steve decides to stop asking and just enjoy his burger.
The waitress comes by to try to bribe them into dessert, but Steve can’t face any more food after all the grease he’s had today. It’s compounded when Danny smiles at the girl and shakes his head. “I’m taking my partner to Point,” he says conspiratorially. “First visit to our fair shores.”
The girl’s eyes brighten. “Jenks and Kohr’s?” she guesses, and okay, Steve has no idea what she’s talking about.
Danny’s face breaks into a grin as he nods. “Might even stop in to Martell’s.”
“Oh, God, not if you want him to love you in the morning,” she replies, laughing and leaning into the car a little bit. “Hey, hon, don’t let him drag you in there, okay? Trust me on this.”
And it’s weird, because this girl is at least fifteen years younger than he is, and she calls him hon like it’s the most natural thing to do, and Danny’s laughing along with her.
“Thanks,” Steve says warily, unsure of what to think of the entire exchange, and the waitress leans back out of the car, still laughing.
Three hours later, Steve has learned that Jenks is Jenkinson’s, which is both a boardwalk amusement park and an aquarium, Kohr’s is some sort of frozen custard stand serving the stickiest food Steve’s ever had outside of taffy (which they also sell), and Martell’s is some god-awful tiki bar tourist trap which, the waitress was right, he doesn’t even want to get close to, let alone enter.
“A tiki bar,” Steve says flatly. “You’re sick, Danny, what the hell makes you think I want to go in there?”
“A little taste of home,” Danny teases, flicking something that’s probably supposed to look like hula grass at Steve. “I figured you might miss it, and hey, Jersey’s got a taste of home for you right here.”
Danny is still grinning as Steve shakes his head and smiles. He hooks his arms around Danny’s back and pulls him in, brushing their mouths together.
“Tastes like home,” he murmurs, and it should be cheesy, should be lame, but Danny’s smile softens even as it intensifies, somehow, and it’s kind of a little perfect.
The Circus Drive-In. It pretty much fits with whatever it is you’re thinking about it right now.
A Creamsicle, for those of you uninitiated, is either cream soda and orange juice, or – more commonly – milk and orange soda. It’s… just a thing, okay, don’t judge me.
Yes, Brick is next to Wall.
Jenks, Kohr’s, and Martell’s (careful, horrifying music there). I’m actually related to the people who own Kohr’s, so yeah, if you’re in the area, eat some frozen custard, it’s delicious.