October 11th, 2008

Nick

Nick, Baseball, Chicago and the Cubs

Last week, butterflykiki generously wrote FK comment-fic for me!  It's a bite-sized piece, slightly shorter than a traditional drabble, but it goes straight to a canon reference (baseball in Chicago) and potentially suggests a metaphor (escaping vampirism is like being a Cubs fan).  It made me happy.

From "Dark Knight":
NICK: It was time to move on. ... Although if I knew they were going to install lights at Wrigley field -- oof.
JANETTE: I hate baseball. Slow games make eternity seem so much longer.

For those of you not from baseball-playing nations, the Cubs are one of two professional baseball teams based in Chicago, a city Nick occupied repeatedly in the twentieth century (flashbacks of SD, AN, and BtL; plus Nick Knight's supposed birthplace in "Hunters").  Wrigley Field, which Nick mentions, is their home stadium.  And their century-long inability to win baseball's World Series -- yes, hardly "world" when it's just Canada and the US; never mind -- has become the stuff of legend.  It is the longest title drought of any North American sports team.

That Nick immediately raises the opportunity to watch professional baseball after sunset as a temptation to stay in Chicago even after, as he says, "it was time to move on," seems a likely indication that he is an active baseball fan.  If I remember correctly, however, baseball is never mentioned again after "Dark Knight" (not counting the softball game at the picnic in "Dead Issue").  So perhaps Nick is merely teasing Janette, knowing that she dislikes the game.  (And why does she really dislike the game? Story prompt!)  Or perhaps lacking interest in baseball is part of how he envisions Nick Knight, so it is only to Janette that he would mention an interest that belonged to another incarnation?

The idea of Nick as a Cubs fan pleases me because the experience of rooting for the Cubs can parallel Nick's struggles to escape his vampirism.  Their title drought began 18 years after he stopped drinking human blood, so that's not an exact match (unfortunately for storytelling symmetry).  But the team often almost makes it, only to fall short after a worthy effort, not unlike Nick's efforts.  And the fans get up and try again, believe again, hope again, every time, never giving up.  Like Nick.