Two weeks after being discovered outside of Miss Medda Larkin's theater Jack and Anthony were well on their way to recovery. The bullet wound in Jack's leg had remained free of infection and was healing nicely, and Anthony's cough was almost completely gone with the help of some pills from a fancy doctor which Anthony had dutifully (but reluctantly) taken.
Both boys were gaining weight, too. Miss Medda fed them a steady diet of delicious home cooked meals and made sure there was always enough so that they could fill their stomachs properly. All things considered, Jack and Anthony's lives had greatly improved in the short time they'd been away from the Refuge.
But Jack was still uneasy. Though he knew Miss Medda would never grow tired of them and throw them out, he also knew that she wasn't exactly a wealthy woman and that taking care of both him and Anthony was slowly draining her finances.
And so Jack began to contemplate the idea of work. He had never held a steady job before as it had only been a year and a half since his father died and much of that time was spent inside the Refuge or running from Snyder, but he was certainly willing to try. The only trouble now was finding the said job.
Medda looked up from her plate to see Jack looking at her with a shy expression on his face. She frowned in concern. "Yes, honey?"
"If I wanted ta get a job, where would I go?"
Medda blinked, surprised for a moment. Then she smiled reassuringly at Jack. "You don't need to worry about a job just yet, Jack. You and Anthony can stay here for as long as you need to."
"But we can't stay here forever," Jack protested. "One day, we'se gonna have ta leave an' get jobs, an' I wanna know where."
Medda studied Jack's face for a moment, then set her fork down with a sigh. "Very well, since you seem so set on it. There are lots of places a boy can get work in this city, but I think you'd do very well as a newsboy."
"A newsboy? Me?" Jack was surprised. He had expected Medda to point him to the nearest sweatshop or slaughterhouse, not to the newspaper distribution center.
Medda nodded. "You're very persuasive and charming, Jack. Those are important qualities to have at your disposal when selling newspapers."
Jack grinned happily. "Alright then. This time tomorrow, I'll be sellin' newspapers!"
Medda chuckled. "Not so fast, Jack. You still need a week or two longer before you're fully fit to be out and about all day."
"But a week's so long ta wait!" Jack whined.
"And you'll have to wait longer if you keep complaining," Medda announced matter-of-factly. "Now, finish your dinner before it gets cold."
"What if the other boys don't like me?"
Jack smiled down at Anthony, who was looking up at him with a worried expression. "They'll like you just as much as I do."
Anthony seemed satisfied with that, and the two boys continued on their way to the newspaper distribution center for the New York World. Jack had chosen to sell that newspaper because it was one of the most popular, and therefore he would make much more money than if he sold another newspaper.
Jack glanced down at Anthony again, smiling to himself as he saw the kid's expression of wide-eyed wonderment as he took in his surroundings. Anthony was the little brother Jack had never had, and Jack would fight to the ends of the Earth to protect him. Jack couldn't have been more grateful that he had met Anthony, who had been a light in his life even in the direst of situations. And as they headed towards a new chapter in both their lives together, Jack was thrilled that he could share it with a boy who was truly his brother in all but name.A/N: And thus, another story draws to a close with a super cheesy ending because I can't write endings properly. I haven't decided what I'm going to do after this yet, but feel free to go check out my other stories! I also have a bunch of oneshots from my Tumblr account that I haven't posted here so I might post those soon. I also have a Newsies/Anastasia crossover which I posted a while ago and kind of abandoned which is complete crap right now but which I kind of want to rewrite. What do you guys want? Please let me know!