Written for Circulation 5 of the Newsies Pape Selling Competition. Finally posting. This was the hardest round so far, to find a decent way to combine two such different musicals, but it came out okay.

Team: Kings of New York

Position: Reporter

Task: Crossover of Newsies and another musical. (Newsies/Wicked)

Words: 686

Elphaba sometimes thought back to her days in grade school, back when she'd only had a few friends, but they were good ones. Now she had so many friends, and yet only one she'd really call her friend. Galinda was a good friend, but Elphaba couldn't help to compare her to her three friends from her younger years. Jack, Davey and Crutchie, the three who were different alongside her instead of making fun of her for her differences. Davey was different like her in that he was smart and bookish, always reading and researching something, Crutchie was different physically like her, because he had a gimp leg and had to use a crutch, and Jack was from a different status like she was, only instead of being the child of a governor, he was poor and lived in the children's home. The three boys were the only ones who were ever nice to Elphaba, and they got along great. Davey and Elphaba could spend hours talking about the things they read, and from third grade they enjoyed debating things they learned about. Being of a different status brought Jack and Elphaba together, because although they were from opposite ends of the social spectrum, they were both ostracized for their differences. Nobody wanted to be friends with the governor's daughter for fear of being told on, and nobody wanted to be friends with the orphan for fear of losing popularity and other friends.

The person Elphaba was closest to, though, was Crutchie. He, too, was an orphan, but his biggest difference was his leg. Nobody wanted to be friends with the boy who only had the use of one leg, who needed a crutch, whose leg was so obviously crippled, and who was an orphan to boot. Nessarose had friends in her private school, where there were only the children of wealthier people. They were kind enough to the daughter of the governor of Munchkin land, at least the one who was a normal color. In public school, anybody who was different a dramatically as Crutchie and Elphaba were was separated. Davey could suppress his thoughts from leaving his mouth, and Jack could make up for his economic position in other ways, Crutchie and Elphaba couldn't exactly hide their differences. Crutchie had an attitude that was unflappable, even through the teasings and taunts. He was always positive, always had something to say to Elphaba when she came close to snapping at her bullies or trying to get revenge. Crutchie was the best friend that Elphaba had ever had, because he ignored her differences as much as possible and all he asked in return was that she do the same for him and ignore his crutch. Davey and Jack did their best to overlook her differences, and they were great friends too, but Crutchie was the only one who really understood. He was the person Elphaba automatically thought when asked who her best friend was, although it was becoming Galinda more and more.

She couldn't help but try to compare everybody she knew now to her old friends. None of them were as smart as Davey, nobody else knew what it was like to be looked down on for the situation of their family. And nobody, nobody, knew what it was like to be as different as her and Crutchie. Nobody understood what it was like to be hated for something you had no control over, something you might have wanted to change but couldn't. For those reasons alone, Jack, Davey and Crutchie would always be counted as her best friends. They understood, they got it, and they went through it with her. Galinda was great, sure, an awesome and loyal friend who had helped her so much, but she couldn't compare to her three oldest friends. She would always remember those three and the adventures they'd had together, the strength they'd given each other in the moments when they almost couldn't bear the cruelties of the other kids. Jack and Davey and Crutchie were a part of her past, her history, and she would always remember that.