I smiled and pranced around wildly. I was dancing in my room in my pajamas.
I was dancing to Carrying the Banner.
As a devout worshipper of Newsies, I was spending the night before the last day of school shut up in my room, singing along and dancing to the gorgeous sound of my newsies on my CD player. Sort of as a "good luck" thing, if you will.
As the only person up at two in the morning, not a good thing when school is in four hours, I was the only one to hear the soft knock at the door.
I frowned. What kind of a person was awake at this hour (other than me, of course), and more importantly, why were they disrupting my dancing? Only opening the door would answer this, so I shrugged on a sweater, grabbed my slippers, and ran down the stairs as silently as I could.
The house was pitch black, but I'd lived here my whole life, so I knew that as soon as I stepped off the half flight of stairs, I turned to the left and took five steps.
Flipping a switch to turn the light on outside, I opened the door.
I know it was a stupid thing to do, open the door at two in the morning to a complete stranger, but keep in mind; I was half delirious, high on Newsies.
That's why I thought I was hallucinating when I opened the door to find the three Jacobs, Cowboy himself, Racetrack, Kid Blink, Mush, and Spot Conlon on my doorstep.
"Holy crap, I've finally lost it," I murmured.
Racetrack asked me, "Hey, doll, sorry ta ask, but could ya tell us wheah we are?" He pulled out a cigar and lit it.
"Um, Bethesda Maryland," I said, a bit dazed. This had happened before, in books, and in my imagination, but it never happened in real life. That was what real life was about, after all, that things that happen in books never happen in real life.
The newsies looked at each other. Sarah bit her lip. She, true to her character, clutched a doily, and wore perfect hair and make up.
"Jeez, I've died and gone to heaven. " I muttered to myself, examining the characters in front of me. Straight out of a book, never mind that it was a movie. No, these characters were book-worthy, and it was just like something that would happen in a book, that people from twenty years ago in a movie that took place a hundred years ago.
I looked at Les, who wasn't even nervous. He just looked around him, a bit dazed, and slightly confused, but otherwise quiet and almost not there, like he was in the movie.
Cowboy, on the other hand, was an outspoken jackass. And yes, that was meant to be a slight pun to his name.
I stared at him, as he asked, "Who're you?"
"Name's Lucy Conlon," I said, then laughed at the horrified look on Spot's face. "It's my fanfiction name, and I'm not giving you my real one until you explain why you're on my doorstep in the middle of December."
"Thought it was colder," Blink muttered.
"Please, Lucy," Sarah said, a Mary Sue true to the bone. "We need help. We have no idea what's going on."
I rolled my eyes. "God save me from the Mary Sues of the world." I muttered. "Well, wait here for a sec," I said, and slammed the door in the faces of six gorgeous boys, one cute kid, and a stinking Mary Sue.
"Jess," I whisper-screamed once I reached her room. "Jess, get the hell out of bed!" I hissed, ripping the blankets off her.
"What gives, Kat?" My sister, Jessica demanded crossly. She was two years younger than me, a seventh grader, while I was a freshman. "It's the middle of the night!"
"10 out of 10 for observation," I told her. "Grab a sweater, Spot Conlon's on the doorstep."
"What the fuck, Katherine?" She demanded, sitting up. "Gabriel Damon's in his thirties."
"Tell that to the leader of Brooklyn," I said. "I slammed the door in his face. Sarah's there, too, and you can tell her about your hatred for doilies."
"Like hell, I'll tell her, and she'll punch a hole in the wall trying to hit me." Jess said.
"You can tell Cowboy you don't like his girlfriend, now put it on!" I told her, shoving a sweater at her.
"Christian Bale too?" she asked incredulously, "Who else?"
"Cowboy, Spot, Racetrack, Kid Blink, Mush, David, and Sarah," I answered, ticking them off my fingers, "Oh, and Les."
She gasped and got up, starting to say something but I stopped her, "And before you ask, no, we are under no condition waking Mike up."
"Damn," Jess muttered. "He and Les would've hit the wall."
"More like burned the house down," I said, and Jess and I ran out the door, as she put on her sweater.
Outside, Cowboy looked pissed. I guess he didn't get doors slammed in his face often.
"Boys," I said, then added with a glance at Sarah, "Mary Sue," I gestured to my sister. "This is my sister, Jessica,"
For an answer, Jess's eyes widened as she stared at the newsies, and when her eyes rested upon the king of Brooklyn, she squealed and flung herself at him. Unlike me, apparently she responded with outward fangirlness, whereas I had been numb with surprise and shock.
Then, she let go of him, and Spot began to pull his slingshot out, a natural reaction, I suppose, in Brooklyn. But Jess was already moving on to squeeze Cowboy in a death grip, and then grab Racetrack's cigar, fling it over her shoulder, and hug him, too.
Then she squealed and attacked Blink and Mush, too.
Then she stopped and stared at the Jacobs.
"Holy crap, it's David Moscow," She said, gaping, and I laughed. I closed the door behind me, because otherwise my mom and dad would wake up and have a fit.
"Like hell it's David Moscow," I said, snorting. "It's the Walkin' Mouth."
Jess shrieked, and pounced.
Sarah looked stunned. Les was staring a Jess like she was some kind of alien spawn. Then, he quickly lost interest, and assumed his standard background cuteness.
"Omigosh," Breathed Jess, noticing Les for the first time, "YOU'RE ADORABLE!" She swooped on him, too, but this time instead of a crazy-fangirl-attacking hug, it was an older-sister-loving-your-cuteness hug, like the ones she sometimes gives Michael when he's acting especially naïve and innocent.
"Jeez, Jess, let them breathe." I said, pulling her off the nearly-ten-year-old. "Okay," I said, pulling my attention back to the newsies and company. "My mom and dad are fast asleep, my brother's conked out, there's seven newsies and a Mary Sue on my doorstep, my sister's going nuts, and it's 2011."
"Doll, are you crazy?" Racetrack demanded.
"It's up for debate," Jess put in.
I pushed her aside. "Call it what you will, but like it or not, Higgins, you're stuck in the twenty-first century. Deal with it, and get yourself some jeans."
"And lose the cig," Jess said. "It's unhealthy, and unfashionable."
"Like hell, it ain't." Racetrack said.
"Ohmigod, Doogie Howser flashback," Jess said, eyes wide.
"Jess, take a chill pill, Neil Patrick Harris isn't here." I said. Then I added thoughtfully, "If he was, we'd be squealing over him, too."
"Valid point," Jess commented.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" Conlon demanded.
"Doogie Howser," I said, as if he should've already known this. "Duh."
"Oh, damn, he doesn't have pink suspenders," Jess said, pointing at Spot.
"I know, unfortunate, right?" I told her. "But at least he has the red ones he's supposed to."
"What the hell're we doin' heah?" Blink demanded.
I cocked my head at him. "Good question. It's freezing out, good night," I said, and yanked my sister back inside, shutting the door behind me.
Giggling frantically, we both huddled behind the door, learning a few new curses from Race.
"Let me talk to them," we heard Sarah volunteer
"Oh damn, she's gonna make us a doily!" Jess whispered, and I shushed her.
"Fine." The other newsies agreed.
Sarah cautiously opened the door, as if she was afraid we were waiting with a frying pan for her to step over the threshold.
"Yeah?" I asked. She jumped, then settled.
I raised an eyebrow. "Jeez, Jacobs, I'm not gonna hit ya. I may like the newsies, but I don't hit like they do."
"Please, Lucy—" Sarah began, but Jess cut her off.
"You gave them your fanfiction name?" Her eyes widened. "Ohmigod, Conlon must've freaked."
"He did." I told her, grinning wickedly.
"Please, Lucy," Sarah began again. "We're in the middle of nowhere, in December, and we have no idea what to do. Can't you help us?"
Jess and I traded looks. We knew we were helping them, but we liked to play Spot Conlon and pretend to be heartless.
"Fine, Jacobs, we'll help you," I said.
Ushering the seven boys and one girl into the dark house, we worked something out with sleeping arrangements for the night.
"They can sleep in my room" Jess offered, jumping up and down eagerly. I shook my head.
"Are you kidding, it's way too small." I said, "Anyway, there is no way I'm letting you sleep in a room full of hot boys by yourself."
Everyone grinned at that, except Sarah, because I guess they didn't teach Health and Family Life in 1899 schools.
"Well, then where are we gonna put them?" Jess asked exasperated.
"Couch?" I suggested. Jess shook her head frantically.
"Mom wi"ll freak if she finds a bunch of strange street boys sleeping on her precious furniture in the morning.
But we eventually worked something out.
I was glad that my room wasn't too messy, and relatively organized, a miracle in itself.
Cowboy, Blink, Mush, Racetrack, and Spot slept in my room. I would've had some of the boys in my brother Mike's room, but he was fast asleep, and he would've had a panic attack if he'd woken up with Spot Conlon at the foot of his bed.
Sarah and Les and David slept in Jess's room, because it was agreed that there was some space in her room, and that maybe it would be better to have the family together.
I managed to get three and a half hours of decent sleep, dreamless and deep in my brother's room with Jess next to me.
The next morning, I woke up to the sound of boys yelling, and I thanked God that my parents left for work early in the morning.
Getting out of bed, I found my brother still half asleep, because the kid could sleep through an avalanche, and my sister with her pillow over her head, muttering a bunch of threats at the boys in the other room. Great.
I ran into my bedroom, where I found the boys huddled and yelling over my alarm clock, beeping loudly.
"Hit it with something!" Someone suggested, I think it was Blink.
"No, it might break it!" Mush protested.
"No one gives a damn, Meyers, long as it shuts up," Racetrack told him.
"I give a damn," I announced loudly. "Because that clock is how I wake up every morning.
"Then turn it off!" Cowboy yelled.
I calmly strode over, and pressed a button on the back of the clock. The clock stopped beeping, and the boys quieted, some flopping back onto their sleeping bags.
"What the hell was that?" Conlon asked.
"That, Spotty dear," I said. "Was an alarm clock. It's the modern equivalent of a Kloppman nowadays."
The boys stared at it. "Evil," Someone hissed.
I smiled, and ran out of the room, yelling behind me, "Jacobs, get up or we'll get you up!"
I shook my brother awake, yelling, "Mike, get up! Racetrack's here to beat your ass at poker!"
"Nobody can beat my ass at poker!" Mike groaned at me.
"Well, I bet Race can, and you can join Les in worshipping Cowboy, now get up!"
I threw a pillow up his head.
"I'm not getting up from this bed!"
"Then I'll tell the boys to go back to 1899, and you'll never have met them in the first place." I threatened.
"Stop making things up, this isn't one of your fanfics." Mike told me.
"Would I make up that Racetrack Higgins was yelling at my alarm clock? Get up, damnit!"
Mike sat up bolt upright. I threw his clothes at him.
"Race yelled at your alarm clock?" He demanded.
"Yes," I told him. "And I told Spot my name was Lucy Conlon," I kicked Jess to wake her up. She groaned.
"Yeesh," Mike commented. "Did he spazz?"
I nodded. "Jess, get up, and set an example for your brother."
I changed in my brother's room, and then ran into my own room.
I leaned in the doorway. The boys were running around examining my stuff. My bookshelves were stocked with books, because I loved to read. I read three books a day, literally, and bought plenty, and this was where they all ended up, worn and loved on my bookshelf, until the next time I pulled out a particular favorite.
So Mush and Blink were occupied exclaiming to themselves how they'd never seen so many books.
Then of course, the others had to come over and gawp at my stockpile, and comment on its size.
"My treasure," I told them, and they turned to look at me. I strode over to pull a book out of the bookshelf. "Every page filled with stories and adventure, places far from here." I examine the book, righting a few dog-eared pages, and put it back in the exact same place.
"Why do you read so much?" Mush asked me.
"'Cause I like it," I said, shrugging. I pulled another book out. "Because it gives me other things to think about than what goes on in the real world." I put the book back, and looked at the boys. "I'd think you guys would know about that. You all have your own sob stories, though no one knows that they are. Guess that's why there's so many fanfictions about you all."
"Fanfictions?" Cowboy asked, confused. "What's that?"
I nodded at Spot. "Take Conlon, for example. No one knows a thing about him. Not his name, not his second in command, not even his real age. No one knows a thing about him, and no one knows a thing about his newsies or Brooklyn, so that's what people write about." I strode away, back out the door. "Coming boys? You'll have to get some shopping done if you want to blend in in 2011."
"What for?" Blink muttered.
The door to Jess's room opened, and Sarah appeared.
She gasped at me. "Lucy! What are you wearing?"
I looked down at my outfit. It was fine. Not jeans because I didn't like them, but loose brown pants and a green peasant blouse. My dark hair was brushed long and straight, in a braid beside my face.
"What?" I demanded.
"It's not decent!" Sarah insisted.
"Like hell it ain't," I said. "Everybody wears this."
I looked her over.
I checked my watch. I had time.
So I dragged Sarah into my room and kicked the boys out, yelling, "Jess, show the boys around, and wake Mike up. I'm getting Mary Sue some clothes."
"Nothing from the eighteen hundreds!" Jess yelled back.
"You think I own anything from the eighteen hundreds?" I demanded.
I shut the door, and dove at my dresser.
"How's it you know so much about the boys?" Sarah asked me suddenly.
I tossed her a pair of jeans, the only jeans I owned. She seemed like a popular, and that meant she'd wear jeans.
"Easy, but I'll have to explain it later." I told her, putting off explanations.
"And why do you call me Mary Sue? What's a Mary Sue?" Sarah asked. She fingered the jeans, examining the denim.
"A Mary Sue is a girl like you," Hey that rhymes. "A girl who needs people to take care of her. A girl who, while her brothers are out on the street selling papers to make a living, is making doilies and stuffing them in drawer."
"What have you got against people taking care of others?" Sarah asked me.
I threw her a T-shirt that read, WHAT PART OF "GO AWAY" DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? She could go without style for a day.
"Nothing, but I got something against punching alley walls. Can't be good for the skin at all." I said, and left her to change. "Change quick, because I have to go to school."
Closing the door behind me, I turned to find Les waiting for me. True to his character, he clutched a wooden sword.
"You go to school?" He asked.
"Sure do, kid," I said. "Not a bad student either."
"Is school nice here?" Les asked me, and I found his older brother and friends watching me, waiting for my answer.
"It's okay. It goes from seven to around three o'clock." I told them. "And lots of homework." I looked back at Les. "How bout you? You got homework?"
He shook his head. "I don't go to school, not until my dad gets his job back."
I nodded. "Lucky kid. I have to go every day, five days a week."
Coming out of Mike's room, Jess added, "It's no picnic neither."
"Who are you guys talking to?" Mike demanded, following behind Jess.
He stopped short, seeing the newsies and Sarah.
"Holy crap, Kat, it's contagious." Mike said. He stared at Racetrack. "Max Casella." Mush. "Aaron Lohr." Kid Blink. "Trey Parker." David. "David Moscow." Les. "Luke Edwards." Jack. "Christian Bale." Spot. "Gabriel Damon." Sarah. "And Mary Sue."
"Pretty much," I said. "Mike, since you don't have school today, you get to watch them."
"We don't need a sitter!" David told me crossly as Sarah asked, "Why doesn't he have school?"
"He's younger so his school let out earlier." I said. "And you do need a sitter if you want to survive in 2011."
I ran downstairs, the everyone followed. Our dog, a Mini Goldendoodle, jumped up and barked, then raced for the boys, jumping on top of Racetrack.
"Jack! Jack, it's a wolf, get it off me!" He yelled. The dog moved on to
Jess fell over laughing, and Mike fell on top of her.
"That's Sam," I said. "He's our dog."
Racetrack stared at me like I was nuts. "Where'd ya get 'im, Central Park Zoo?"
"No, silly, South Carolina." I told him. "The breeder's there. And we also have a hamster, Ash, but he doesn't come out much. I'll show him to you later."
Sam jumped up on Spot, who knocked him aside with his cane.
"What the hell?" Jess demanded, petting Sam. "He's only a puppy."
Spot was about to open his mouth to speak, but I grabbed his cane.
"This isn't Brooklyn, Conlon, and you don't hit people here."
I let go of the cane, and went to the kitchen to make breakfast.
Everyone sat at the large table.
"So how much money do you have between you all?" Jess asked. "You're gonna need new clothes here."
The boys looked at one another, and pulled money out of their pockets, hundreds of coins.
I grabbed two milk cartons and some paper cups, because we didn't have enough glasses. I set the cups and milk in the middle, and Mush and Race and Blink dived for them.
I checked the clock. I had time.
God, I was tired. Four hours of sleep is not good for the health. But I made bacon for the newsies, and scrambled eggs. Like every morning, I also got strawberries and whipped cream for Mike, and an omelet for Jess, then tossed the dog a treat.
I brought the food to the table, and everyone dug in. Evidently, no one had taught the newsies manners, but I guess they didn't need them. I went back to the kitchen and brought out a carton of orange juice and a pitcher of water.
Jess and Mike were counting the money, each counting half.
"I've got three bucks and thirty-four cents." Mike said. "You?"
"Five bucks and ninety-one cents." Jess said.
The boys looked at each other, grinning, because in 1899 it was no doubt a lot of money.
"That's not much here," I said. "Guess how much a paperback book costs?"
"Around five dollars," Jess told the boys. "More or less depending on how popular, how long, how interesting it is, where you get it, that sort of thing."
"Five bucks?" Race demanded.
"Don't worry," I said. "Knowing you, Race, you'll beat everyone out of their live savings soon enough."
"Valid point," Mike said with a smile. Then it faded. "But what do we do for clothes for the guys?"
"Well, I bet your clothes'll fit Les," I said, "And Sarah can share my clothes and Jess's."
"We have our suspenders and stuff from our newsies Halloween outfits." Jess put in.
"And some of Dad's old shoes might fit," Mike put in.
"And we'll have to buy the rest," I finished. "Jess, Mike, go get your wallets and piggy banks." They ran off, and I yelled after them, "And the money under your mattress!"
I sat down, and grabbed a piece of toast from Jess's plate. My money was in my purse, hanging over my shoulder, like it always was.
I looked up to find everyone staring at me.
"You're weird," Les observed. "You wear funny clothes and talk strange."
"Les, be polite," Sarah admonished. She turned to me. "He means—"
"I know what he means," I said lightly. "He's never met anyone like me. Well, Les, that's because you lived in 1899. We'll find a way to get you back there, but until then you're stuck here, and you're going to have to blend in."
"And how much will blending in cost," David asked.
I shrugged. "For all of you together, a lot. But Jess and Mike and I will pitch in and help."
At that moment, Jess and Mike ran in, and tossed two piggy banks, three wallets, and a giant pile of coins and dollar bills into the middle of the table.
"Count it, would you?" I told Jess. "I've gotta get my stuff."
Jess nodded, and I ran for my room.
I grabbed my Nook Color, my cell phone, and my three library books I had to return before break. Then I put on a sweater and grabbed my backpack stuffed with two binders, three textbooks, my gym clothes, and a book.
Downstairs, I grabbed my combat boots, hopping back towards the table with one shoe on and struggling with the other.
I grabbed my newsie cap off a hook, and laced up my combat boots. Ready for the day.
"How much in total?" I asked. I knew I had around thirty bucks to spare.
"Including money from the boys," Jess said, and Mike finished,
"We've got ninety dollars and eighty-one cents."
"Boys," I turned to the newsies. "You're going shopping."
"What's wrong wit' what we got?" Blink demanded.
"Yeah, we got clothes," Mush said.
"You can wear them today," I told them, "Because we still need to ask our parents if you can stay, but you're going to need clothes anyway, whether you stay or not."
I checked the clock.
"Holy crap, I'm late!" I grabbed my stuff, then hesitated. "You guys wanna come? I'm going to school,"
The boys looked at each other.
In the end, the Jacobs siblings, Cowboy, and Spot came, because Mike wanted Race to play poker with him, and Jess was busy showing off her Mac to Mush and Kid Blink.
I heard her tell Blink, "You're going to have to do something about that eyepatch."
I smiled. This could get interesting.
Author's Note: This story is beta-ed/ co-written by my sister and friends, and my brother.
Disclaimer: I do not own Newsies, Dougie Howser,Central Park Zoo, Nook Color, or Mac.
Tragic, I know.
Plz plz plz review, and I know this concept has been used before, but I wanted to try it out with Senora de la Mary Sue in it as well as the newsies.