Hello! So I said I'd update this a few days ago and I didn't, but I have many excuses! Excuse 1: My phone died. Excuse 2: Homework. Excuse 3: I performed in an orchestra concert. Excuse 4: I went to a play last night and it was super amazing but I didn't get back home until super late. So, those are my excuses, now on to the story!
When Race came to he was lying on his bed, his boots, hat, and gloves having been removed by someone. It was almost as though he had never left. Slowly sitting up he opened his mouth to call for someone, but all that came out was a hoarse squeak. He cleared his throat loudly and tried again, but all that did was trigger a massive coughing fit.
Suddenly the door on the other side of the room opened and Romeo walked in, Jack following close behind him. When he saw Race was awake his face split into a grin, and he hurried over to Race's bed.
"Good ta see ya back among the livin', Race! How're ya feelin'?" he asked.
"Not too bad," Race managed to squeak out, and Romeo's smile grew wider as he turned to Jack.
"See? Told ya he'd be fine!" he chirped, and Jack chuckled and ruffled Romeo's hair.
"Okay, kid. Now run along, go get your dinner."
Romeo grinned again before bouncing off the edge of Race's bed where he had been perched and practically running out the door. After he had gone, Race turned back to Jack and raised his eyebrows in question.
"You was out two days," Jack said in response to Race's unspoken question. "Almost turned into Pneumonia, thank God it didn't. Ya scared us, Romeo, especially."
Race lowered his head and looked at his lap, feeling guilty for causing the boys to worry. Jack seemed to sense his feelings because he clapped him on the shoulder and said something about going to get Race some dinner before walking out of the room and leaving Race alone with his thoughts.
Though Race protested that he was well enough to sell the boys insisted on keeping him in bed for the next few days in order to be completely sure his cold had cleared up. This would have been enough of a problem for Race, who was slowly going stir crazy from being cooped up, but it was made worse by Romeo's insistence in keeping an eye on Race and taking care of him. At first, it was sweet, Romeo brought Race food and kept him company whenever he wasn't out selling, but soon it became more annoying. If Race so much as breathed in the wrong direction Romeo was immediately at his side, asking if he was alright. Race put up with it at first, but after three days of this, his patience snapped.
Race was sitting on his bunk, reading a newspaper one of the other Newsies had been unable to sell the day before. As he was doing this, he sniffed and let out a slight cough. Romeo, who had been lounging on the bunk next to him, immediately sat up and looked at him. "You alright, Race?"
Race gave a heavy sigh and set his newspaper down. "Yes, Romeo, I'se fine. I was fine when you asked an hour ago, I was fine when ya asked me two hours ago, an' I'se fine now! Stop askin', please!"
Romeo looked slightly frightened at Race's outburst and looked down at his lap. "Sorry, Race," he murmured quietly.
Race gave a nod of his head and turned back to his newspaper, trying to ignore the look on Romeo's face. That became impossible to do, however, when Romeo let out a slight sniffle and a single tear rolled down his cheek.
"Aw, Rome, don' be like that," Race sighed again, setting down his newspaper and moving over to sit next to Romeo on his bunk. "I was just kinda frustrated with bein' inside, that's all. I didn't mean anythin' by it."
Romeo nodded, wiping his face with his sleeve. Race wrapped his arm around Romeo's shoulder in a silent gesture of comfort. They sat like that in silence for a minute before Romeo spoke up. "I just kinda feel like it was my fault."
"Like what was your fault?" Race asked in surprise. Then it hit him. "Me bein' sick? Rome, why would you think that?"
Romeo shrugged, still not looking at Race. "I dunno. I just think if I could've gotten you back here sooner you might not a' been so sick."
"Romeo," Race began, his tone soothing. "That wasn't your fault. That was me bein' an idiot, an' I would'a stayed out there much longer if ya hadn't brought me back," here he paused. "Rome… you saved me."
Romeo turned to look at Race, surprise written on his face. "Really?"
Race nodded. "Yeah, kid."
Romeo perked up upon hearing that, looking proud. Just then the door to the room opened and Crutchie came in, shaking snow from his clothes and blowing on his hands to warm them up.
"Heya, Crutchie," Race said in greeting, and Crutchie smiled back.
"Heya, Race. Feelin' better?" he asked.
Race glanced at Romeo, who smiled. Turning back to Crutchie, Race grinned. "Much better."
A/N: Okay, this is really the end of this. Thanks to all who reviewed the previous chapter, please tell me what you thought of this one! Oh, wait! Also! I keep forgetting to mention this but I really want to write a Newsies reincarnation AU, thoughts? Let me know! See ya!