A/N: Ah, this is sad. Songfic to "A Little Fall of Rain" from Les Miserables, which is my favorite song in the entire musical. Go love it. Character death, light slash. Enjoy the angst!
Disclaimer: I don't own Newsies or Les Miz.
It was a tragedy really. An accident.
Two filthy men fighting over filthy money in a filthy bar, pushed out into the filthy street for their filthy brawl. A gun was pulled, then fired. The two scum made their peace with a quick nod and mutual agreement to disappear for a day or two. Guns were dangerous, after all.
What these two men didn't realize was that guns really weredangerous, and their filthy shot hit a clean boy and made him just as dirty as the rest of the street. They didn't see this boy, because no one sees this boy. They heard the shot and that was enough. Perhaps if they knew what they had done, they would have felt enough remorse to pay for a doctor.
The invisible boy's name was Jake. He lived his life as a fixture, not an element. If you ask anyone if Jake was there, of course he was; Jake was always there. But if you asked someone where Jake was, they would stare, dumbfounded, and not know. Because Jake was not loud. He was not striking. He didn't appear to be special. He blended in so well that he only had one friend.
The friend of the invisible boy was named Pie Eater. Pie Eater was not invisible, though he was far from noticeable. He had several friends, but none like Jake. Jake was special, and no one but Pie could see it. Jake had a modest beauty about him; a grace in the way he moved and spoke. Everything about him was soft, refined, but so solidly certain that one couldn't help but listen when he spoke. And listen Pie did. What he heard was the elegant, truthful words of someone much wiser than their years.
Pie Eater fell in love with a Southern gentleman. Jake fell in love with a Manhattan wallflower who saw everyone and everything, and understood even when there wasn't anything to understand.
But now there was no love, there was only blood flowing from Jake's left shoulder that never seemed to end. Passerby only seemed to notice he there when their shoes were spattered with what should have been inside him. One elderly man was kind enough to drag him into a doorway and wipe his face with a handkerchief, crossing himself and blessing the child before moving on. He was a dead man, through and through.
And so there was blood, only blood, when Pie rounded the corner and saw his lover lying against a building, sporting his worst nightmare. He heard a scream but didn't recognize it as his own as he ran, papes flying. Pie didn't think, just wrapped his arms under Jake's legs and shoulders and kissed him for the world to see. Strangely, no one bothered the two. Everyone could see Death looming over their shoulders, and so New York was in an unspoken agreement that they should at least die happy. Jake's breaths were shallow and few; it was too late to save him. A smile ghosted his pale lips as he took in Pie's tears.
"Jake, Jake, it's okay. We'll get you to a doctor, he'll sew you right up, you'll sleep it off. You'll be up and selling again in no time."
But Jake just smiled bigger and grew colder in his lover's arms. "It's okay, Pie," he told him. "Just hold me now and let it be. Shelter me, comfort me, please?"
Pie Eater pulled Jake closer to him, kissing his forehead softly. And then the skies opened up, rain falling from them as the world began to mourn the loss of an eighty-year-old Southern teenager in New York. Pie swore, trying to cover Jake before giving up and allowing themselves to be doused. The rain was the first in weeks, and it tasted almost too sweet to be real.
Jake sighed contentedly, looking to the clouds. "We needed the rain," he commented quietly. "Now the city'll be a little greener for you guys. Take a stroll through Central Park tomorrow, alright?"
Pie choked back a sob, managing to nod as his tears were lost in the rain. Jake couldn't die because Jake was always there. And if he wasn't there, who would be?
"You know, I really, really love you," Jake whispered, his eyes unfocused and the blood still flowing.
"I really, really love you back," Pie murmured, kissing Jake one last time.
"Take care of the city, Pie. Keep noticing. Maybe you'll be a reporter one day." Jake died smiling, his last attempt at humor written across his face.
Pie died with him, but his body didn't follow for another fifty years, by which point he had written thousands of articles for newspapers. He also published a few poems, all about the invisible boy who paid for our sins.
But the city really was greener after the storm, and even Pie had to appreciate the gift New York had been granted in exchange for her purest soul.
Don't you fret, M'sieur Marius,
I don't feel any pain.
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now.
That's all I need to know.
And you will keep me safe,
And you will keep me close,
Will make the flowers grow.