Disclaimer: I don't own Marvel comics or characters or movies, and am making no money off of this fic.

AN: Written for the October 2nd Spooktober prompt: pumpkin patch. Also, yes, I know that pumpkin carving has been around since before the 1900s, but Steve's a city boy who grew up in poverty during the Depression, and has never encountered this tradition before.


A Patch of Fruits by luvsanime02


Steve has no idea whether or not the others are playing a prank on him.

Sadly, this isn't a new occurrence. He tries to surreptitiously pull out his phone and check online, ignoring Natasha's knowing look of amusement with the ease of long practice. A few clicks later, and okay, yes, this is something real that people do now.

It just seems likeā€¦ such a waste? Since when have pumpkins become decorations? They're food. Sure, Steve's never eaten one himself, unless you count the wonderful pumpkin pie that Bruce, of all people, made for Thanksgiving last year. Steve might have eaten more than his fair share after consuming his first slice. It was all he could do not to eat the whole thing by himself, really.

But still, even if Steve has no personal experience with butchering a pumpkin and somehow making a delicious pie out of the insides, he knows that pumpkins are food. Why do so many people use holidays now as an excuse to play with their food?

"There are different kinds of pumpkins," Natasha announces in the car on the way to the pumpkin patch. Because, apparently, going to a nearby market and buying one isn't enough. No, they're taking two cars and driving upstate to an actual pumpkin patch in order to pick out some pumpkins and carve faces in them. Because that's what people do now.

Sometimes, Steve feels at least two hundred years old, instead of almost one hundred.

Still, what Natasha's just said immediately captures his attention. "Are some better than others?" he asks, wondering if she's trying to keep him from committing another faux pas by picking the wrong kind of pumpkin. Steve assumes that they wouldn't be selling the pumpkins if they were the wrong sort, though. Maybe.

Sometimes, people will try and sell you anything.

Natasha shakes her head. Her eyes are on the road, though her attention is still on him. "Pumpkins that are used for carving are not the same ones that people use for pies," she explains.

Oh. That actually makes Steve feel a lot better about this whole trip. "Thanks," he says. In the backseat, Sam shakes his head in mock disappointment and Clint doesn't even bother to open his eyes. He's definitely still awake, but is clearly using the trip north as a much-needed break from everything by pretending to be asleep, and everyone else in the car is polite enough to leave him be.

"Be prepared to still spend way more on a pumpkin than any man should have to spend on a gourd," Sam warns. Steve internally sighs, but nods his head at the information. He guesses that the price will be something around twenty dollars, then. Steve does that, sometimes - makes a wager with himself about how much something will cost nowadays. He's almost always wrong, but he seriously can't imagine a pumpkin costing more than twenty dollars, really. It's a vegetable.

...Are pumpkins vegetables? Steve thinks so, but does another quick check. He's wrong. Technically, they're a fruit, which is blowing his mind more than the rest of this whole activity. How in the hell can a pumpkin be a fruit? Food is so weird. They're also not really gourds, which Steve makes a mental note to bring up with Sam later.

"Don't worry," Natasha says, weaving absently through traffic and staying behind Tony's Maserati, "Tony will pay for all of them."

"I don't need Tony Stark to pay for my damn pumpkin," Sam announces. Steve raises an eyebrow at him, looking over his shoulder so that Sam can see the look clearly. Sam only rolls his eyes in response. "Yeah, yeah, the man could buy the whole business, I know, but I can still afford my own, overpriced pumpkin."

"We all can," Steve points out, "but you're the one who will have to listen to Tony whine for at least an hour after if you don't let him just buy one for you."

Not that Steve's going to let Tony buy his pumpkin, either. Tony may have more money than most of the rest of humanity combined, but Steve can still afford to buy his own weird fruit.

Living in the future is a really odd experience, some days.