A/N: Oneshot, 1899 Javid. The title is Latin for "scent of home."
Disclaimer: I don't own Newsies.
There were a lot of things that Jack loved about David. He loved David's dry sense of humor, the determination that shone in his blue eyes, and the way he always kept one hand on Les's back in crowds. He loved the lean muscles beneath David's shirt and his hunger to learn, to improve himself. But some days, Jack thought that what he loved most about David was his smell.
In the lodging house, most boys didn't bathe every day. Some didn't feel the need to be clean, and others were just too exhausted after a long day of selling. It wasn't a necessity to be soft and fresh Jack Kelly wasn't like this. He valued bathing more than any newsie in New York, except maybe Spot Conlon. He loved the smell of soap on his skin and the feathery texture of clean hair.
David lived in an apartment with women. It was required for him to bathe regularly and well at that. He, Les, and Mayer came home dirty and worn and were made pristine and fresh by Esther and Sarah each night. Every time Jack visited the Jacobs' home, he was fascinated by all the different scents of soap in their bathroom. Once David offered them to Jack to give to the Lodging House baths, but Jack declined. The best part about the soaps scents were their presence on David's skin as they kissed; the whiff caught as Jack's lips traveled down David's neck and across his shoulders. These scents belonged to David; their freshness was his essence. Put Jack in a room blindfolded and he could find David just based on smell.
Sometimes Jack would lean in close and just breathe in the smell that was David. David would look over at him; brow furrowed, questioning. Jack would just shake his head and smile, unable to explain the rarity of David's hygiene and how appealing he found it.
But what Jack didn't know was that he had a smell too, one of coffee and sweat and ink. His scent boasted hard work and masculinity, and it drew David nearer than his charming grin or exploring hands. It was so original, so idiosyncratic, so Jack that David couldn't help falling in love with the smell just as he loved the boy.
And so as they held one another close in a lover's embrace, they took a moment to inhale and appreciate the scent that constituted such a large facet of the boy they loved.