It is a rather confusing and abrupt beginning, but if you continue reading, I do believe you will enjoy. This is my very first fic with Spot, so please be kind in your reviews! Constructive criticism is more than welcome!

"It ain't wrong unless ya get caught," I told my Brooklyn boys frequently.

"You don't believe that," a traitorous voice in the back of my head whispered every time I said it. This time I cringed. "Go away."

It chuckled. "You really don't. You have morals. You're soft."

"Shut up!"

"You're weak. You shouldn't be the leader."

"I said SHUT UP!" I cried, enraged at this strange voice I could not get rid of.

"Umm... Spot?" I heard a timid voice ask.

I whirled, then saw Marbles and ran a hand through my head in frustration. Now he thinks I'm crazy. Talking to myself! What a stupid thing to do!

"Who were you talking to Spot?" he queried nervously.

"Not you, kid," I said gruffly, and ruffled his hair.

"Oh." He still looked confused.

I sighed. How do you explain something like this? "It's just- well- kid, do you ever hear that voice whispering to you in the back of your head and it makes you feel- just- so- i dunno- angry- that you yell at it?" It sounded stupid, and I wished I hadn't said anything, but once I had started, I had had to go on.

"Yes!" Marbles said confidently. "It's your consense!"

"Your what?"

"Your consense- no that's not right..." he thought, frowning and biting his lip. "I's gots it!" he grinned. "Conscience!" he uttered triumphantly.

I was impressed despite myself. "Who told you that?"

"Miss Eleanor. She said-"

I was angry again. Miss Eleanor- once more! She was getting on my nerves. Practically every day I was getting reports about "Miss Eleanor" instead of the other boroughs from my boys (particularly the younger ones). She was apparently some kind of superhero. "Miss Eleanor" indeed! "Miss Perfect", more likely! I was getting sick of it all. "Miss Eleanor this, Miss Eleanor that!" I said, making no attempt to hide my irritation. "Get goin', kid."

His face fell and I softened a little despite myself. "It's just I'm sick of hearin' about her. What're you doing anyway, talking to some hoity-toity lady?"

"She ain't!" Marbles cried eagerly, "she's real nice. She don't like me to call her Miss Eleanor- I just do. She's real funny, and she gives me money, even though she don't have much."

"I got a lot to do, kid," I said, dismissing him.

But I didn't do anything for a half an hour but sit and think about this Miss Eleanor who had so completely captured my boys' hearts.

Tomorrow, I decided, I would meet her.

0O0O0O0O0O0

"Hello, Mr. Conlon!" The girl smiled brilliantly, disarmingly, and held out her hand. "I, of course, have heard of the famous Spot Conlon," she continued. "Please, call me Ella."

I stared at her, trying to puzzle out what was striking me about her as different. Then it struck me. She had a British accent! My boys had never told me this. They probably don't even know what one is like, I thought drily. At least Marbles was right about one thing- she really isn't hoity-toity, somehow. On anyone else it would be, but she isn't proud, like. I kept trying to analyze what made her not seem hoity-toity.

She quickly took her hand back and spat on it delicately (if such a thing were possible). "I'm sorry," she apologized, "I forgot my manners!"

Irony of ironies, I thought wryly as I took it. That's how she's not hoity-toity! But instead of shaking it, I turned it and kissed it. It seemed wrong somehow to shake this lady's hand as if it were a pump and I were trying to get something out of it.

She blushed; and very prettily indeed. "Why," she said, "I've never had anyone do that to me before!" she exclaimed.

"I wonder why not," I said, very smoothly.

She blushed even harder. "So what brings the great leader of Brooklyn to my humble abode?"

"Humble abode". Gotta remember that one. "Well, me boys been talkin' 'bout you a lot. It was startin' ta get irritating. I decided to come see the amazin' Miss Eleanor meself." I should have left off the "irritating" bit. I realized this after I said it; she looked rather ashamed.

"I am sorry to be such an inconvenience!" she exclaimed. "Of course, I should have left your boys alone. It just gets rather lonely when you live by yourself."

I raised an eyebrow. Either she was very brave or very stupid to admit that she lived alone, a very dangerous thing for a girl in Brooklyn. Of course, bravery and stupidity are all the same thing, when you get down to it. Or perhaps she is being very, very clever, I thought, scrutinizing her. With her impeccable manners and refined accent, she seemed like a very innocent, upper-class sort of person, but I had noticed that her house was extremely shabby, on the point of being associated with the word poverty, and her clothes had been turned*1 at least twice. It was impossible to be poor and retain your ignorance of good and evil.

I took a casual, smooth step closer in order to examine her eyes. To me, eyes were the most important thing to look at when you want to know about a person. That and their hands. I scrutinized her eyes first. They were a magnificent shade of amber, and were rimmed with the longest, blackest lashes I had ever seen. At a glance, they seemed very innocent, but upon close examination, I could see a guarded, cold, careful look in them, like she knew something that she wouldn't tell, or like she'd done something she couldn't say.

My gaze travelled down to her hands. I had gotten very good at telling a person's character solely from their hands. In fact, I had gotten so good I could do it without touching them (although this would have made it a great deal clearer and easier). She was a very hard worker, I gathered, and did hard, menial labor. She had known a great deal of poverty and suffering.*2

Her dark red hair (so dark I thought it was black till the dim light hit and made it shine) fell in her eyes and she brushed it away in an impatient gesture. I noticed then that she was working hard to keep her hands from trembling.

Why? I wondered. Is it just because a strange man is in her house? Then a thought struck me. Maybe she's heard stories.

"Er, Mr. Conlon," she said, in an attempt at conversation, "would you- is the- how has the selling been lately?"

"Very good, Miss Eleanor."

"Ella, please," she said, with another smile.

She's a good actress. "Where do you work?"

The question seemed to make her scared. "Um... er, sewing. I sew."

An awkward pause.

"Well, Miss- er, Ella...-nor," I said finally, attempting to leave off the "-nor" and not succeeding, "it was nice meeting you. Unfortunately," I continued, "I have to get back to me boys." I watched her closely.

She put on a show of being deeply disappointed, but I could see in her eyes that she was greatly relieved. "Well, goodbye, then, Mr. Conlon," she said finally, after voicing the usual regrets that I could not stay longer.

"Please," I said, catching the door just before it shut, "call me Spot." I didn't watch her eyes very closely then, but I didn't have to in order to see the look of- could it be?- terror in those lovely eyes.

Then I turned and walked down the street.

And felt her eyes on me the whole way back to the lodging house.

*1 A method used in the old days wherein clothes were turned inside out so as to be worn several times; usually used only by the poorest or the miserliest of people.

*2 Yes, it is possible to tell a great deal about someone from their hands. I myself am an expert. I could meet you for the very first time, feel your hands (unfortunately, I, unlike Spot, like to feel their hands as well as look) and know at least ten things about your character, your lifestyle, and your background.

Please review!

-Austra

PS If you guys are looking for some really really good Spot romances, read:

[In no particular order]

"No More Random Goils!" by Eavis [has sequel: "Of Life"]

"Spot of Luck" by SayaXIII

"The Prize" by thrufirewithoutaburn [has sequel: "The Life"]

"Carpe Diem" by Ryan Brooklyn [has sequel: "Altus Vicis, Ferreus Vicis"]

"Ace of Hearts" by Racetrack's Goil [has sequel: "The Royal Flush"]

"Irish" by theIrishkid

"Murmur" by DisneyLady824 [has sequel: "Mumble"]

"The Future is Calling" by Christina Conlon [has sequel: "What Time Cannot Erase"]