Disclaimer: I do not own The Magic School Bus or any of its characters.

This is a small bit focusing on Ralphie and Phoebe, post-show, dealing with the subject of baseball.

Pairings: Ralphie/Phoebe is what its supposed to be, but it isn't too sappy or gushy. Background Carlos/DA.

"Phoebe, get real."

"You get real."

The background: Ms. Frizzle's class of eight had recently graduated high school and went off to whatever higher education they had chosen to go to. Phoebe and Arnold had broken up; Arnold had gone off to college somewhere in Texas, while Phoebe remained in the upstate New York town of Walkerville. Ralphie and Keesha had also broken it off when Keesha joined up with the Peace Corp. Tim moved to an apartment in San Francisco, which he shared with two of his fellow starving artists. Dorothy Ann and Carlos went off to the same law school in one of the neighboring states, splitting an apartment and the rent between the two of them (those two were practically married to one another anyway so no one made too big of a deal about it). The only ones who decided to remain were Phoebe, Ralphie and Wanda.

Typical Wanda was determined to take a year and traipse across Europe, leaving Phoebe and Ralphie alone to bond. The two brunettes had never really gotten to know one another despite being in the same class off and on for several years, but now it seemed they were making up for lost time. Ralphie learned that Phoebe was studying to become a teacher, and she learned that he was going to become a police officer. She was a vegan; he ate meat with any meal he could. It wasn't long before their relationship was upgraded from friend to boyfriend/girlfriend.

The most vexing thing about the relationship ended up being the thing that was also the strongest thing that united them: baseball.

Ralphie was born and raised a New Yorker; the Yankees had been his team for generations before he was even born. He went to Cooperstown in the first grade, and had been going every other year since. The Boston Red Sox were his arch rivals, and he rooted against them any chance he could. He even had several "Sox Sux" tee shirts somewhere in his room.

On the other hand, Phoebe had been born in Boston; she had moved to New York when she was four, although she and her father remained Boston Red Sox fans. She knew all about baseball, which gave her and Ralphie something to talk about without her having to pretend she liked it; at the same time, their chosen teams caused problems.

"The Sox haven't won a World Series since 1918; what makes you think they'll win this year?" Ralphie questioned, setting down beside her with a bowl of popcorn in his lap.

"I have a good feeling about this year."

Ralphie rolled his eyes; he leaned back against the couch. He would have put his feet up on the coffee table like he usually enjoyed doing, except it currently held several cans of soda and some bowls of assorted snacks. "I'm telling you, the Cardinals are going to win. The Curse made sure of it."

"Take your Bambino and shove it," Phoebe said. She adjusted the Red Sox hat she was wearing and took a drink of soda from one of the cans on the table. "The Sox beat the Yanks this year anyway, remember. You're just sore about it."

Ralphie said nothing, only watched the game unfold on his TV screen.

"The only thing good about this is that we get several games out of it."

Phoebe shrugged. "Well if the Sox win this one, it'll be all over."

"If the Sox win this game, they win the series. If they can do that, I'll buy you dinner at whatever place you want."

Phoebe looked at him. "What happens if they lose this one?"

Ralphie munched on his popcorn. "If they lose this one, I'll be willing to make the same wager for each of the next games. But I'll be nice; there's no downside for you if they lose the series."

"You're on," Phoebe agreed. She knew 2004 was going to change everything for the better.