I got a request to put some angst in my other story, and I couldn't figure out how to do it, so I wrote this instead. I hope you enjoy!
"What were your parents like, Jack?" The question came as a surprise to Jack, who had climbed up to the roof of the lodging house with Katherine to have some time alone before she had to walk home. The boys were inside, playing an obnoxiously loud poker game. "Your parents, Jack. What were they like?" Katherine repeated when he didn't answer her, and Jack sighed heavily. "It ain't a nice story, Katherine," he said, attempting to skirt around the question. To avoid the part of his life he had shut away many years ago. "I didn't expect it to be," she answered, giving him a soft look. Sighing again, Jack realized that even if he didn't answer now, Katherine would get it out of him later. He may as well tell her. And so, he began.
"My mother died when I was born. All I know about her is the stories I heard growin' up," Jack started, glancing at Katherine, who was watching him intently. "My old man wasn't around much either, always workin' or drinkin'. I was pretty much raised by my older sister, Mary." Jack paused for a moment, letting himself travel back to a happier, simpler time in his life. A time when laughter was almost as familiar to him as breathing. "You have a sister?" Katherine asked, interrupting his reverie. "Had a sister," Jack gently corrected, and Katherine's eyes widened. "She was sweet and kind, but she could be stubborn when she wanted to be," Jack continued, chuckling softly. "Kinda reminds me of you, actually." Katherine playfully smacked his arm, pretending to be angry, causing Jack to grin before he continued. "She always made sure I had food and good, warm clothes even though we didn't have much money. Even walked me to school every morning before goin' to work at a factory." His smile faded here, and he seemed lost in his thoughts once again until Katherine gently touched his arm. "What happened to her, Jack?" she asked, leaning against him slightly. Jack's face hardened as he said, "After my old man died, money was even tighter than before. Mary worked longer hours, I stopped goin' to school and started sellin' papes. That's how I met Race." Here he paused once again and took a deep breath, like he was diving into deep water. "Typhoid Fever. I was 10." At this, Katherine sniffed loudly and leaned harder against Jack, who began rubbing small circles into her back. After standing like that for a while, Jack shivered slightly and said, "C'mon, Kath. Let's get inside before we freeze." Nodding, Katherine moved to follow him but stopped just before the ladder that led back down to the lodging house. "Jack, I really am sorry," she said, before kissing him softly on the cheek and making her way down the ladder. Smiling to himself, Jack glanced across the roof. He could just make out a tall, elegant woman with dark hair wearing a simple black dress and smiling. And he could almost hear her say, "I told you she was the one."
A/N: So yeah. I gave Jack a sister. (I know, I'm so incredibly original.) Let me know what you thought, and if you see anything that you think could be improved let me know! I'm totally open to rewriting this fic. (Also if you have any other requests, let me hear them! I will probably write them, unless I don't. If that happens, oops.