Author's Note: I just watched the Newsies for the first time the other night. I loved every second of it! And being the FF writer that I am, my own version of the story started formulating from the very start.
So here it is- the Newsies if Jack had a sister.
Disclaimer: All characters are property of Disney and the creators of Newsies, except those which spawn from my overimaginative mind. Like Al. :)
Chapter 1- Alison Kelly
Somehow you've got everybody fooled.
~Everybody's Fool: Evanescence~
Alison Kelly growled as Kloppman woke the room full of boys. She shoved her pillow over her head and tried to drown out his routinely obnoxious morning wake up call.
"Come on, up and at 'em!" the old man cried. Suddenly, Alison felt like an earthquake had struck and her world started shaking. Instinctively, she reached up and smacked at the bedpost, knowing Kloppman's hand wouldn't be far out of her reach. She only managed to bruise her knuckles.
"You two boys are always the hardest to rouse in the morning. Must be a family trait." He reached down and smacked Alison's face through the pillow. She smacked his hand back and he left.
"It's alright, Al, he's gone." Blink called quietly from near the doorway a few seconds later. Swinging her legs over the edge of the bed, she stretched and shoved the mattress of the bunk above her.
"Alright, alright, Al. I'm up!" Jack answered groggily. He jumped down from his bed and gave his younger sister a half-hearted glare. "You'd better fix that hair o'yours before Kloppman comes back in and sees ya."
"Ya think I don't know that?" she responded irritably.
She pulled the string out of her hair that had kept in a bun for the night, though there was hardly any of that bun still in the knot she'd put it in, and pulled a brush out from under her mattress. She quickly swept it through the nearly black mass of hair before deftly forming it into a french braid. Left on it's own, it brushed the tops of her shoulders, but she tucked up into her cap. If Kloppman found out she was a girl, she'd be out on the streets faster than you could say "scabber". There wasn't a boarding house for male and female siblings. There was one for girls and one for boys and if you wanted to stay together, you'd have to rough it on the streets or fool Kloppman. Al had been doing the latter for years.
She hurried into the large washroom, dodging flailing boys and flying hand towels. One hit her in the face and she glared at Racetrack, who only grinned in response. She kept it and went to wash her face with it.
When she was done, she studied herself in the mirror and tried not to wonder what she would do when she and Jack got too old to be newsies. He was always touting about Santa Fe, but she wondered if that would ever really happen. What would life be like in New Mexico, anyway? She tried not to shudder at the thought of crossing a desert.
She went in one of the bathroom stalls to change, hurriedly throwing on her black breeches with suspenders, blue shirt a size too big with sleeves she rolled up to her elbows, and a vest that was supposed to partner with the shirt to hide her breasts from the public eye. Or at least from Kloppman. They weren't huge, but they were big enough to be noticed if she wasn't careful about concealing them.
"'ey Cap, you're gonna be late if ya don't move it." Racetrack was banging on the door.
"I'm movin' it, Race." she said pushing open the door and rolling her eyes at him. She hurried over to one of the mirrors and pulled down a shaving brush and a baggie full of dirt that she powdered on her forehead, nose, and the sides of her face. Despite her best efforts to look boyish, her face was still too feminine without the dirt's added touch. Then, of course, the shiner on her jaw didn't look too feminine either.
"Cap!" Mush's voice carried from the top of the stairs.
"I'm comin' already!" She pressed her tan cap down and raced her friend down the stairs. When they hit the streets she hurried with him as the boys funneled into the street. She never understood how they could be so upbeat in the morning. Half of them were sliding in the dirt, jumping over each other, or play fighting. It was a wonder half of these kids were still alive with all the rough-housing they do. Then again, maybe that's what kept them alive. They did live in New York after all.
She hurried and sidled up next to her brother as they received their breakfast from the nuns that were passing out bread and water again.
"Mornin' Al, you awake yet?" he asked, wrapping a heavy arm around her shoulder, his mouth half full.
"No," she answered truthfully, laying a heavy head on his shoulder. "I'll be awake when we get the papes."
"Think there'll be some good 'eadlines?"
"Does it mattah?" she raised an eyebrow.
The rowdy group reached the gates of the news press and Al came up beside Racetrack, still watching the boys who were busy swordfighting and imitating fistfights among other things.
"Race, you owe me a cig." she held out a hand to the boy.
"What? I gave it to ya last Friday!" he responded, still chewing on his cigar.
"Ya gave me one ya'd halfway smoked already. It doesn't count."
Race's eyes narrowed, but he handed her an entire cigarette this time, though grudgingly. She smirked and put it in the inside pocket of her vest, the one that buttoned shut.
"You ain't even gonna smoke it?" he asked, disbelief clear in his voice.
"Ya know that puts off the customahs, especially the ones that figure out I'm a goil. I'll smoke it aftah lunch."
Racetrack turned away, muttering about girls stealing his stuff. It was only a few minutes later that most of the boys quieted down. Al turned slowly, knowing only one thing could cause them all to quiet that quickly- the appearance of the Delancey brothers.
Racetrack sniffed the air dramatically.
"Dear me. What is that unpleasant aroma?" he fanned his face with his cap and tapped Kid Blink on the cheek. "I fear the sewer may have backed up."
She couldn't help but chuckle.
"Naw, too rotten." Boots agreed.
"Yeah, yeah. It must be the Delancey bruddahs!" Crutchy mocked from where he stood behind Jack.
The other boys were always protecting the two of them- Crutchy and Al. Even as she was thinking about it, Mush grabbed her arm and pulled her back beside him while Blink moved in front of her so she wouldn't be in the front in case they tried to pull something. They all knew she could fight when needed, but they still did their best to watch out for her. In the years since their arrival at the Newsboys lodge, these boys had become like brothers to her. They'd known the truth from the start, but not one of 'em had ratted her out to Kloppman yet. For that, she was eternally grateful.
The entire group burst into laughter as the two continued to approach.
Oscar sneered and grabbed a younger boy by the back of the neck that had been standing just in front of Jack.
"In the back you lousy little shrimp." he said, throwing the poor kid down.
"'ey! Leave the kid alone!" she pushed past Racetrack and helped the kid up, glaring at the two brothers. The younger boy from the lodge smiled gratefully at her.
"It's not good to do that. Not healthy." Racetrack warned the two brothers, smile still broad.
"Shouldn't be callin' people lousy little shrimps, Oscar," Jack moved so that he was right in the boy's face. "Unless you're referring to a family resemblence between your bruddah an' you."
Oscar blinked at the insult.
"What? You don' recognize an insult when ya hear one?" Al asked, nudging her brother lightly in the ribs. She looked at Jack and smiled. "Guess they get confused since it's all they hear."
Jack laughed with the other boys and Race called at to everyone, "Five to one Cowboy skunks 'em, eh? Who's bettin'?" Al shook her head as the others called out bets they weren't going to back up. And people wondered why he'd been dubbed Racetrack . . .
Jack gave her a look, eyes twinkling as he approached the other boy, Morris. "That's right. That's an insult. So's this!" he grabbed Morris's hat and took off, all the boys hollering after him. The Delancey brothers took a second, then started after him. She started to follow, but Mush grabbed her arm.
"Lemme go, Mush." she warned, ready to swing at him.
"Come on, Al. You already got a shiner. Jack can 'andle 'imself."
"I'll give you one to match if you don't let go o' my arm." she warned. He let go and she took off in the direction of her brother and the whole group that was watching the display. She realized then that they were coming back around when she ran straight into a boy in a striped blue shirt, dark blue tie, and light brown vest.
"Really? How many times are people gonna run into me?"
"Sorry 'bout that." she apologized then climbed onto the statue beside her so she could see over the crowd. "There 'e is." she dropped down.
"David, can we see if he's winning?" the little boy beside the one she'd run into asked, tugging on his older brother's vest.
"Ya wanna see 'im win? Here, follow me." she said, taking the boy by the hand. David made a noise that sounded like an objection, but she was already halfway through the crowd with the younger boy in tow.
When she reached them, Jack had just reached the gate and climbed up it to safety. Al chuckled and nudged the younger boy.
"See, Cowboy always wins." she laughed.
A/N: Let me know what you think!