A/N: Haha. I'm an idiot. This has been up for quite a few months, and I JUST realize I had the year 1991 written instead of 1891. Wow. Really? Wow. It's actually kinda funny. So I fixed it!
Anddd...yeah. Very dramatic story. Contains emotional...stuff. Also inspired by the song Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley. Hence the title. I don't won the song or Newsies, thanksmuchdon'tsueme.

UPDATE AGAIN. I fixed 1991, right? And changed it to 1891. Wow. WOW. Jack didn't even know Sarah in 1891. The movie about them was almost made in 1991. I fixed it. Officially. 1901. Got it. Good.


September, 1901

I smiled as Jack kissed my sister, Sarah. I was happy for them. I was happy that they were starting a life together and Jack was finally getting what he had dreamed of his whole life.

"Sarah, I'll only be gone for a year. I'll find a beautiful house in Santa Fe, and I'll come back for you and we'll move down there, just the two of us and the never ending sky," Jack said, hugging my sister. All she could do was smile. That's all she could ever do when Jack said romantic things like that. He had a way with words. Jack came to me, and although I held my hand out for him to shake, he pulled me into a hug, too.

"What, ya think you're gunna get away with a puny handshake after being my best friend and letting me marry your sis?" He said. Of course, what was I thinking? "You take care of that girl for me while I'm away!" Jack exclaimed, pulling away. "I'll miss you guys. I'll try to hurry back as soon as I can."

And like that, Jack was off. It would be a year until we saw him again.

August, 1901

Even in the kitchen, sweat poured down my face, due to the August heat. The summer ticked by, slow as ever, as the wait for Jack just seemed to grow longer as the days passed. I knock at the door raised my spirits, and something in my heart told me it was who I had been waiting for.

I opened the door to my best friend and embraced him. He, too, looked drenched in sweat, but that didn't matter any.

"Oh, Davey, I've missed you and Sarah so much, but look! I've found the perfect house!" Jack said, happy as usual, and handed me a sepia toned photo of a home just big enough for three people. Perfect for a new family. "Where's Sarah, I wanna show her right away!"

I looked around. Honestly, I had no idea. "I haven't seen her all morning, Jack. She's probably in her room, come on."

Jack followed me up the stairs where we could hear Sarah giggling. She probably already knew Jack was here.

"Sarah, guess who's here!" I said, opening the door. "SARAH!"

Jack gasped. Sarah stopped giggling. I was speechless. The space in Sarah's bed that was usually kept empty was Jack was now accompanied by Mr. Zimmerman, Pop's new business partner. Jack looked to me with a shocked expression. Tears filled his eyes, a rare occurrence.

"Jack…I had no idea, honest," I said. It was the most I could do without crying as well. He clenched his eyes shut and threw the photo to the floor. He was out of our apartment before anyone could stop him. Sarah's window was open and a rare breeze hit my face. Mr. Zimmerman could've been sneaking in all summer, and I never would've known. He snuck back out the window as Sarah nodded to him, and no one said a word. Tears flowed down my cheeks as well as Sarah's. Jack was never going to be the same, that much I knew.

"How could you do this, Sarah? What were you thinking? How long has this been going on?" I said, after a long pause. It took a while for Sarah to reply. Not because she

didn't have an answer, but because the tears were holding her back.

"It was a one time thing, David. That's it! Nothing really happened! Of all the times…it wasn't supposed to be like this, David!" Sarah said, shaking. She was hysterical. Even if 'nothing really happened', the wrong man was in Jack's side of the bed. Even still, I couldn't help but feel awful for my sister. It wasn't 15 minutes ago that Jack walked through the door, and all three of us were expecting them to have a picture-perfect future. Now that picture was on Sarah's bedroom floor to be forgotten.

She put him out like the burnin' end of a midnight cigarette
She broke his heart he spent his whole life tryin' to forget

October, 1901

"Jack, you have to get out of here," I said to my friend. He had been in the lodging house for a month now and refused to go anywhere. Every time I saw him since the incident, he had a bottle of whiskey with him that seemed permanently attached to his hand. Sometimes it was full, sometimes it was almost empty, and half the time, Jack was so drunk, I couldn't even speak to him. I still came to see him everyday, though, rain or shine, hoping that he would be even just a little over Sarah, or better yet, want to go back to her.

"Yeah Dave, the last time I did that, my girl two-timed me. You really expect me to do something' stupid like that?" Jack replied, not even looking at me. He had dark purple bags under his bloodshot eyes, and I expected the only rest he had had in the past few days was when he would pass out from the alcohol. At least today was one of the rare occasions where he wasn't drunk.

"Come on, Jack. Let's go see Spot, or somethin'. I bet he'll know a way to get you back on your feet!" I suggested. I don't know why I bothered. Being happy didn't seem to affect him anymore.

"I don't want to go see Spot! I don't want to see anyone, Dave! Don't you understand that?" Jack shouted at me. He started sobbing. "I want to forget it all! I want to forget Sarah, and forget my dreams, and my past and future! I want it to be over! You can't possibly understand the pain!"

No, he was wrong. I understood the pain. I might not have showed it, but seeing my best friend like this caused a pain so horrible, I almost wanted to die.

We watched him drink his pain away a little at a time
But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind

November, 1901

It was a rainy morning when the mournful rap came at the door, that woke both Sarah and I up from our sleep. I hadn't gone to see Jack the day before. The lightning was too harsh and I didn't want to risk it.

We were both surprised and confused to see Racetrack at our door. His eyes were watery and his nose was red. It was a look I had grown to be familiar with over the past couple of months. He had be crying hard over something.

"David…Jack is dead," He said, sniffing. "We found him face down in his bed this morning. We didn't touch him. We thought maybe you'd like to bury him here."

I couldn't say that I hadn't been expecting it. It's what he wanted and what the whiskey was driving him to. Sarah was clinging on tightly to my arm, bawling into my shoulder.

"He had this in his hand," Race continued, wiping his cheeks. He handed me a piece of paper with a note.

"My dearest Sarah," I read aloud. "I will always love you until the day my memory is erased and the whiskey takes my life. I forgive you, but my heart couldn't live with the pain. I'm sorry. Love forever, Jack Kelly."

Until the night
He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away her memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength he had to get up off his knees
We found him with his face down in the pillow
With a note that said I'll love her till I die
And when we buried him beneath the willow
The angels sang a whiskey lullaby
la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la

December, 1901

The winter brought me the gift of a situation similar to the one I had with Jack, only this time, it was Sarah in a deep depression and she refused to leave her room. The bitter cold outside and the view of Jack's stone grave under our willow tree only made the situation worse.

"Sarah," I said outside my sister's door as I knocked. "There's a Christmas party at Medda's tonight. I know you're probably not in the mood, but I'd really like to go, and I want company."

To my surprise, Sarah opened her door to me. It looked as though she already knew about the party. Her hair was done and she had one of her nicer dresses on. I hadn't seen her take care of herself this much in a long time. She looked like she hadn't cried today, but I wasn't too worried about that. Sometimes she would just look out her window, remembering the days when Jack would sleep on the fire escape, and think about the way things might've been.

"Sure, I'll go," she said, and gave me a small smile. It wasn't a real smile, though. It was the same she had when she played the piano at our mother's funeral, or when she tried to look hopeful for Les when Pa first lost his job at the factory, or even the one when Jack first left for Santa Fe, when no one was expecting that everything was going to be ruined. Even as we left the house, I could smell a hint of whiskey hidden under her perfume. My heart sank.

The rumors flew but nobody know how much she blamed herself
For years and years she tried to hide the whiskey on her breath

I prayed that at Medda's, Sarah would forget just a little bit, and have fun for once. I knew nothing was going to be back the way it was, but all I wanted was to have my sister back for Christmas. I pretended not to care when she ordered more whiskey at the bar. She said it was Christmas and she deserved a little something on this rare occasion, but she wasn't fooling me. She went back to the bar several times when she thought I wasn't looking and the bartender never denied her a drink.

I almost felt relieved when a charming young man came up to us and held his hand out to Sarah.

"My name is George. May I ask for a dance?" He said. For the first time in who knows how long, my sister smiled. A true smile. Her eyes were filled with compassion. However, my stomach turned a flip when she spoke.

"Jack, my love, do you even have to ask?" She said. She was going crazy.

"G-George, my dear. My name is George," The young man said. I felt bad for him. He didn't deserve this, and neither did Sarah. She blinked a few times as she realized where she was. Her smile faded, but still, she took George's hand.

"Of course, sir. My name is Sarah," said my sister. She went through this process more than once, and I realized what a mistake I had made by bringing her here. Time and time again, she found herself back at the bar, and then back into the arms of another man, but I never saw her smile again like she had when she had mistaken George for my best friend. It wasn't until almost one in the morning that Sarah finally passed out and I was forced to carry her home.

She finally drank her pain away a little at a time
But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind

February, 1902

It was Valentine's day. I prayed that Sarah wouldn't take it so harshly. I prayed that this holiday could pass happily and peacefully for once.

"David!" I sat up in my bed to Les's voice. Soon after, he came bolting into my room. "David! Sarah won't get out of bed!"

No. Not again. This wasn't happening. I clench my fists in anger, in sadness, in anxiety. My sister couldn't be gone too.

But she was. She had her head buried deep in her pillow, and the whiskey bottle-same as Jack's-was on the ground by her bed, empty. Les finally came to realization that Sarah was as well. He had probably already known, but after the death of his hero, didn't want to believe it. He fled the room in pain.

I approached Sarah's body. To my surprise, her face was oddly serene. She looked more peaceful than I had ever seen her in my life. I knew that she wanted this, too. Still, I couldn't come to understand why it had to end this way. Only two years ago, I was looking forward to the same dream Jack and Sarah were. Now they were both gone and I was the only one left to fulfill it.

Sarah's other hand was clenched tight. Her body was so relaxed, it looked oddly out of place. I gently unfolded her hand to find two pictures-one of the house Jack had showed me on that fateful August day, and the other of he and my sister on their wedding.

It didn't have to end like this.

Until the night
She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away his memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength she had to get up off her knees
We found her with her face down in the pillow
Clinging to his picture for dear life
We laid her next to him beneath the willow
While the angels sang a whiskey lullaby
La la la la la la la, la la la la la la la.