*A/N: So Stars belongs to my friend Emily, if you're wondering. I asked her if I could use her character to write a fic and she said yes, so here it is! Be prepared for heartbreak! Oh, and obviously dedicated to Emily.
Stars stole a glance in each direction to make sure that no one was looking. She had the perfect opportunity if only she acted now—and she would. She took her hand from her coat pocket and quickly swiped an apple from a merchant's booth, swiftly moving away so as not to draw attention. She checked herself—had anyone seen? No? Well, then—
Suddenly, she felt a hand pull on the same arm that had stolen the apple; turning around, she saw it was Morris Delancey. "Do ya mind, Morris?" she spat. "I got places to go, people to see. Ya know how it is."
"Didn't think you was a thief, Stars," he replied with equal bitterness in his voice. "But I guess things have changed since we last saw each other."
"Ya got that right. Now do ya mind lettin' go? You're gonna make a scene," she told him, trying to pull her arm away without letting the apple fall from her pocket.
He grasped her arm tighter. "You'se on our turf now, Stars. Or didn't you know that? 'Sides, you work for the Journal, don't you? You got money t' buy food."
She looked at him with a scowl. "I got money for me-self, sure. But there're others who ain't as lucky as me, ya know? I'se just tryin' t' help 'em out. Now if you'll excuse me…" She ripped her arm out of his hold and began walking away from the market.
She kept up her pace, trying to get as far away from Morris as possible, heading down empty streets and alleyways as much as she could. She even thought that he'd left her alone until she heard the faint footsteps matching in rhythm with hers. She stopped in her tracks and pivoted on her heel to face him. "Why're ya followin' me, Morris? Ya got somethin' t' say?" She looked up into his eyes and saw that they were brimming with sadness.
He looked down at her. "Ever think about the times we was friends? More than that?"
She scoffed at him. "That was a long time ago, Morris. Things ain't anythin' like that anymore."
"Stars…" He let his hand softly stroke her cheek. "Why can't things be like they used t' be? We was good together, an' you know it."
"After all the things you'se done? After all the things I'se done? I can't hardly believe ya'd even want that."
He sighed, turning away from her and leaning against the brick wall of the alleyway. "I don't wanna do all that I do. I stick with me family, with me brother. He's all I got, you know that. I'd do anythin' for him."
"Yeah, well, like ya said once. Ya take care of the man who takes care o' you. I gets it."
"No!" He threw his hands up in frustration. "That ain't what I'm talkin' about! Stars… dammit, Stars! You are your name. You're a star in the sky in this world where I do nothing except for follow my brother like a sheep. I think about you an' things ain't so bad after all."
Stars didn't speak; she didn't move. She found herself unable to do nearly anything. She just looked at Morris with a shocked expression frozen onto her face. "I—I didn't… ya never…"
Morris and Stars turned away from each other and toward the other end of the alley. Oscar was heading for them. When he got to them, he gave Stars a peculiar look and then turned to his brother. "I been lookin' for you, Morris. Uncle Wiesel's got some things for us to do. I mean, as long as you ain't busy or nothin'."
There was a tense pause as Oscar seemed to test his brother with that remark. Morris pursed his lips and, with one last look at Stars, pushed himself off the wall. "Nah. I ain't busy. Let's go." He turned and began to walk away.
Oscar gave Stars a once-over and laughed to himself. "You ain't his type, sweetheart," he quipped. He shook his head and then followed his brother out of the alleyway.
Stars watched them leave, expressionless. But while on the outside she didn't seem to care, she could feel her heart sink back deep inside her, back into a cold shelter where she knew it wouldn't break.