This has absolutely NO connection to my other stories. I hope you like it! No accent is going to be attempted.

Title: April Fools.

Chapter One: Contest of Papes

Cat's POV:

I grabbed my papes and ran off to find a good selling spot. Mush, of course, was close on my heels and quickly caught up to me.

"I got seventy papes," he announced almost childishly. "How many did you get?"

"Seventy," I replied shortly, and began screaming out a headline.

Mush instantly followed suit.

And the contest to see who could sell the most the fastest, began.

0o0o0o0o0o0

I had sold forty papes, and I decided to stop for lunch.

I walked at my usual moderate pace to Tibby's and was not surprised to find all of the other newsies already there.

I was usually the last one in.

They were, as usual, talking about their "goil"s and how many papes they'd sold, and what they were going to do with their money, etc. It was like a big family. Of boys.

"Hey, who's your new fella, Cat?" Race called over to me.

I'm sure I don't know why, but it had become almost a tradition, and a very big joke, to ask me who my lover was.

Because I never had one.

"Hey fellas, I think it's Mush!" crowed Snipeshooter.

Mush, who had been making his way over to sit with me and to, no doubt, tell me how many papes he'd sold, stopped quickly and suddenly took a great interest in his sandwich.

I noted, with interest, that his ears were a brilliant shade of pink.

The teasing instantly began.

"Oooh, Mu-ush's got a new broad!"

"Hey Ca-at, sweet on Mushy, are ya?"

And the catcalls began.

Thankfully, however, a waiting girl came over and told them to "shut up, you're away business!".

Then they stopped, that sport apparently being over for the day, and started discussing what they were going to do with their money.

I remained silent.

Unlike most of the others, I didn't have a particular ambition for my money or for my life except to keep alive and off the streets.

After I was finished with my roll and cold potato, I rushed back out again, Mush following cautiously.

"I've sold thirty," he whispered to me. "How many-"

"Forty. Er, forty-one." I amended, as I sold one.

He blinked, and sold one too. "Thirty-one."

"Forty-two."

"Thirty-two."

"Forty-three."

"I give up! You win. I guess." And he flounced off.

"Yay." I said sarcastically to the world in general.

0o0o0o0o0o0

When I had finally finished selling my papes (the day seemed to drag on longer than usual), I went tiredly back to the Lodging House.

I felt strange- more tired than I usually did, for one thing, and a little dizzy and cold, but I didn't mention it to anyone. I just went straight to the bunkroom and washed up.

Then I started to cross the room to get to my bed.

However, my vision started getting foggier and foggier, and just as it had almost overcome me I vaguely heard someone from a mile away, say anxiously, "Cat, are you all right?"

Then strong arms around me- then- nothing.

Well, there you have it! Please, please, please drop me a line, even if it's just one word! Like, "Awful" or "Terrible" or if you think it, "Nice" or "Good".

Thanks for reading!

-Austra.