A/N: Oneshot-David and Spot. Non-slash, but vague suggestions if you really squint. It takes place shortly after King of New York. R&R!

Disclaimer: I don't own Newsies.

UPDATED/EDITED 8/19/12


"No."

"Yes."

"No."

"Yes! You and Cowboy are decent enough, I'll give you's that. But you and me?" Spot rolled his eyes and hit his temple with two fingers to emphasize his point. "Magic."

David shook his head, looking for an exit out of the alleyway he into which he had been forcefully dragged. "Look, Spot, I'm flattered. But Jack's my friend. I can't just leave him."

Spot sighed, fixing his cap regally and tapping his cane on the pavement. "Mouth. You got a brain, and a decent one at that. But I got smarts. You provide the...politics, and I rule the fights. We'll win for sure. The bosses can't say no when we're under public eye."

"I'm telling you, I gotta stay with Jack!"

"Look, little old Jackass; he ain't perfect. He got a lotta baggage, and I knows he's gonna run the first time one of them Delanceys comes out swinging or if some goon decides to go after his smart ass with a club. Brooklyn, we think ahead of time. We never get caught because we got no slip ups. That stunt, yesterday? Soakin' 'em for Crutchie? You's would all be in the slammer if I didn't send out my scouts. We saved your cause, and your sorry asses."

Satisfied with his speech, Spot leaned back against the wall behind him, examining David thoroughly. He seemed conflicted. There was a war raging on his face, so Spot wasn't surprised when he said quietly, "Why."

"Beg pardon, Mouthy?"

"Why do you do it? Leading the newsies, any of them... It sounds like a shitty job. What in the name of God would make you want to risk your own hide for some riffraff boys?"

"I know it don't seem like it, but I love my boys. They make me proud. They look up to me, and so I gotta do them the best I can. Where would they be otherwise?"

David stood stoically, lost in thought. Finally, he asked, "But how do you know what's best? You got lotta boys to take care of. I've just got my family, and that's too much for me. Now everyone wants me to just start leading all the newsies. I don't think I can do it, Spot. I don't know how you manage. Don't you ever just wanna... run away? Leave it all behind?"

Spot sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, not looking at the taller boy. "Come with me. I got something to show you."

Several hours and twice as many tumultuous alleyways later, David was following Spot up a ladder on a slummy building in the Lower East Side.

"Just a few more steps," his guide muttered before lending a hand over the ladder. David grabbed it and hauled himself over onto the rooftop.

Brushing himself off, he said, "So. You dragged me around Manhattan for enough time. What do you got to show me?"

Spot shook his head before turning on his heel and crossing the dank, dull rooftop. "Don't talk. Just come."

Dave obliged, strolling with Spot to the edge of the roof facing the East river.

The two boys stood in silence, leaning over the low wall and watching the evening horizon turn from grey to blue to velvet, like Sarah's favorite hair ribbon. Dave thought he understood what Spot meant-the shift from day to night was especially visible from their vantage point, and especially calming-but then the stars came out, and the lights came on.

Gasping through his teeth, Dave looked in wonder at the oasis in front of him.

"You can see everything," he marveled. The entire Brooklyn skyline was illuminated; the buildings practically blending into the starry night sky. A lone automobile chugged over the bridge, its taillights barely visible through the mist rolling off of the river.

"When I come here," Spot started at last, "I like watching the day change. It's amazing how so much can change in such little time. From a noisy, busy city to a peaceful slumber in a matter of minutes. It's like a different world.

"When I'm up here, just looking at my city, my borough... I can't imagine anything else. What better life could I ever find than the one I have here?"

David nodded slowly. "It's so different up here. Almost too quiet. I think Cowboy needs a place like this-otherwise he wouldn't be so worried about Santa Fe all the time."

Spot shook his head. "Santa Fe is Cowboy's rooftop. It ain't even the city that matters. It's the love for it, and the passion to protect it, to get there.

"Brooklyn is mine. I plan to keep it that way. But sometimes, when I just gotta take a break from being King, I come here to remind myself of why it's all worth it. Because I get this"-he gestured at the skyline-"as part of the deal. And that makes me the luckiest damned newsie alive."

Dave didn't reply. There was nothing to be said: Spot was right. Of course he was. And so the pair watched as the city changed from day to night back to day before their eyes.

After the sun had fully risen and New York had awoken from her peaceful slumber, Dave and Spot climbed down the ladder, back to another day of peddling papes. But before they parted ways, Dave grabbed Spot's shoulder.

"Brooklyn. I just want you to know that I'm staying with Jack. I gotta. But I would like nothing better than to be allies with a respectful borough such as yours. I'll bring all of your ideas into the strike. God knows we need 'em. You're in this as much as me or Cowboy. Maybe more."

Spot nodded, spit in his hand, and waited for his ally to do the same. After they shook, he simply said, "Pleasure doing business with you, Mouth," before turning on his heel and disappearing into the flow of the streets.

New York had swallowed him whole, and Spot couldn't think of any better way to be.