Hello! Here I am with the story I promised, Origins Part 2 (I couldn't come up with a better name, just go with it). I am starting with Crutchie, because he's one of my faves, and will eventually get to most of the other Newsies. I hope you enjoy this
"Papa, look! I'm climbing!" 5 year old Charlie Morris cried as he clung to a tree branch. He and his father were spending the day in Central Park, enjoying his father's day off from working at the factory. Laughing, his father tilted his head up towards the tree. "I see that, Charlie. Be careful, now." "I will!" came the cheerful reply as he climbed higher. Suddenly, the branch under him snapped, and then he was falling, falling straight down towards the ground. Boom. He landed safely in his father's arms, breathless and shaken. "Charlie, I told you to be careful!" his father scolded. "Are you hurt?" Charlie felt all over himself, then shook his head. "No." Sighing, his father set him down. "What am I going to do with you?" "Dump me in the river?" Charlie suggested. His father looked at him for a moment, before bursting into laughter. "Come on, Charlie. Why don't we go get some ice cream?" Grinning happily, Charlie skipped off after his father, his small hand held in his father's big one.
"Papa, tell me a story!" a now 7 year old Charlie Morris whined. He was sick in bed with a high fever and aching bones, which was nothing new. Charlie had always been sickly, ever since he was a baby. His father turned to look at him, then sighed. "Alright, Charlie. Any story in particular?" "Tell me about Mama!" Charlie insisted, snuggling deeper under the covers. He loved to hear stories about the woman he bore a striking resemblance to. His father smiled sadly, nodding as he sat next to Charlie's bed. "Once upon a time, there was a beautiful woman who worked in a factory in New York City." "Like you!" Charlie piped up, yawning sleepily. "Yes, like me," his father agreed. "One day, she met a young man who also worked at the factory, and they instantly fell in love. After a brief courtship, they decided to marry, and their wedding was a grand celebration with all of their friends and family." "Was I there?" Charlie asked. "No, you weren't born yet," his father laughed. "Soon after their wedding, the woman gave birth to a handsome baby boy who looked just like her." "Was that me?" Charlie asked, yawning again. "Yes, it was," his father answered, then patted him on the head. "Enough talking. Go to sleep." Nodding, Charlie turned over in bed, quickly drifting off into a restful sleep.
"I'm sorry, but it looks like Polio," a doctor with a grim expression on his face said. "There's nothing I can do." Charlie's father nodded, placing a couple coins in the doctor's hand before showing him out. "Papa?" Charlie whispered. "Yes?" his father said, his voice overly cheery. "Am I going to die?" Charlie asked, his eyes filling with tears even though he tried to stop them. It was babyish to cry at 8. His father made a strangled sound in the back of his throat, then turned away from him. "Get some sleep, Charlie," he said, walking out of the room and closing the door behind him.
"There was an accident at the factory, Charlie. I'm sorry, but your father's dead." Charlie blinked at the man standing in front of him, the words not quite registering. "Papa?" he whispered. The man nodded. "There was nothing we could do. I'm sorry." Words came flooding back to Charlie, as clear as the day they were spoken. "I'm sorry, but it looks like Polio. There's nothing I can do." Charlie turned away from the man, making his way over to the kitchen table, his leg dragging behind him as he clung to the wall for support. "I'll buy you a crutch soon, Charlie," his father had promised. "I just need to save a little more money." Charlie sat down with a thud. He was so tired of people making excuses. The man was talking again, holding out an envelope as he babbled on and on about this being everything the factory had owed his father. Charlie nodded, taking the envelope and setting it on the table in front of him. The man stood there for a moment longer, before turning and hurrying out of the apartment, the door clicking closed behind him. Charlie stared at the envelope a moment longer, before putting his head in his hands and bursting into tears.
"Extra, extra! Train de-rails in Connecticut, injures thousands!" Charlie shivered as he watched a newsboy hawk the day's headline. It had been 3 months since his father died, and 2 months since he had been kicked out of their apartment for not being able to pay the rent. Now it was winter, and Charlie was wondering if he would be able to survive much longer, seeing as how he could barely walk. Turning away from the newsboy, he began to walk back to the alley he had claimed as a place to sleep. He had only walked a few feet when he tripped over a rock, going down in a large puddle. His attempts to stand only ended in him getting completely soaked, and he sighed, resolving himself to sitting in the puddle until someone took pity on him and helped him up. "Hey!" Looking up, Charlie saw the newsboy he had been watching earlier darting towards him, his bag of newspapers bouncing against his side. "Need help?" the boy asked, reaching out his hand. Charlie eyed him for a moment, before taking it and allowing himself to be pulled to his feet. "Thanks," he whispered, his voice cracking from disuse. The boy eyed him, taking in his raggedy clothes and lack of a coat. "You have a place to sleep, kid?" he asked, his New York accent thick. Charlie shook his head, looking down at his feet. The boy grinned, looking pleased. "Well, then come home with me!" "Home?" Charlie asked, confused. "Yeah, the Newsboy's Lodging House!" the boy cried, grabbing Charlie's hand and pulling him along. "We'll get ya a decent meal and a bed, and then tomorrow I'se can show ya how ta sell papes!" Charlie nodded, feeling slightly dazed as he stumbled along behind the boy. All of those things sounded so foreign to him, he had almost gotten used living on the streets. Finally, after walking for what seemed like miles, they arrived at an old, slightly run-down building with the words Newsboy's Lodging House painted on the front. The boy grinned at Charlie, dragging him up the steps and in through the front door.
"Jack Kelly what're ya doin' back so late, and who didja drag with ya?" a tall boy demanded. Charlie shrank behind the boy - who's name was apparently Jack - in an effort to hide from this other boy, who did not look happy. "Hiya, Socks!" Jack grinned back. "How're ya doin'?" "Don't change the subject, Kelly," Socks replied, crossing his arms over his chest. Jack's grin faded, and he glanced back at Charlie. "What's your name?" he whispered. "Charlie," Charlie whispered back, not taking his eyes off of Socks' imposing form. Jack turned back to Socks, a grin plastered on his face once more. "His name's Charlie, and he didn't have any place ta sleep so's I told him he could stay here." Socks sighed, shaking his head. "Alright, Kelly. Find him a bed, and introduce him to the other boys." Jack nodded, practically jumping up and down with excitement. "Thanks, Socks! C'mon, Charlie!" He bounded off into the other room, yelling that there was a new Newsie to meet. Charlie stood in the hallway, looking around nervously. A Newsie? Him? Besides the fact that he couldn't walk very well, he didn't know the first thing about selling newspapers! Shaking his head, he turned towards the door. This had been a mistake. "Hey, where ya goin'?" a voice asked. Charlie turned to see Jack standing in the doorway, his brown furrowed with confusion. Charlie shook his head. "I uh, I can't walk very well," he admitted, gesturing to his leg. Jack's eyes widened in understanding, before he smiled. "Don't worry, I got an idea," he said, running back into the other room. He returned a moment later carrying a large piece of wood. "Race found this over at Sheepshead a few weeks ago, and he said I could have it. What if I made ya a crutch with it?" Charlie blinked, shocked that someone he just met would do that for him. Smiling, he nodded. Jack grinned, jumping up and down with excitement before running off to borrow Albert's pocketknife because "Crutchie needs a crutch." Charlie smiled at that. Crutchie. It suited him.A/N: That was long! The next part should be up soon, so stay tuned. Oh, and I have another idea that I wanted to bounce off of people. So, I have been recently obsessed with Anastasia the Broadway musical, and I wanted to write a crossover Newsies/Anastasia thing. What do you think? Please let me know!