HAPPY 122nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE NEWSBOY STRIKE OF 1899!
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okay i saw your post about jack drawing/painting on davey but i must ask. how did they start doing this?? did jack ask davey if he could draw on his hand, or did davey offer his hand to jack because he knew he needed it? what were the circumstances of this?
i feel like, if davey is really nervous, jack will start drawing on his hand and pretend its for him because he knows it calms davey down
anyway i LOVE this idea have a wonderful day jac
AHHHHHHHH I DIDN'T EVEN THINK OF THESE BUT NOW I AM
It all starts as a joke.
Originally, Jack just says, "Hey, give me your hand."
Davey does it of course, because he can't deny Jack anything- he's his best friend, after all.
So, Jack just draws a little smiley face on Davey’s thumb, then releases his hand and shoots him this proud little smile, and David is confused, but he smiles back.
At that point, they're sophomores, and the doodles only progress over the years.
Jack draws everything on Davey. Animals, stars, little comics, dicks ("Jack, what the fuck? That's sharpie!" "Just go get some hand sanitizer! I'm blessin' you with my artistic abilities, and you--" "I hate you."), inside jokes... everything.
As Jack gets older, and as everything around him gets more turbulent, his doodles soon turn into full drawings on Davey's hands/forearms.
And Davey let's it happen, because he sees that Jack needs an outlet, and it... it feels good, being so close to Jack all the time. So intimate, even when there are lunchtime conversations raging around them.
Plus, it helps him, too. Because when Jack is overwhelmed, then Davey is probably close behind him- and it's a good little thing for them both, because the only people that matter in those moments are each other.
When Jack finally asks Davey out, he does it by writing, "Will you go out with me?" in really pretty handwriting on the back of Davey’s hand.
Obviously it works, because this thing- the doodling- turns into their thing.
They start spending even more time around each other, which is where the makeup/painting sessions happen.
So, Davey will sit pretty for Jack and let Jack paint his back, his shoulders, his chest, his face- whatever Jack needs in order to execute his latest idea. That, in turn, also means that Davey is a pretty frequent face on Jack’s art account, alongside Katherine, Charlie, and Jack himself.
It's fun, it lets Jack practice his skills, it lets Jack dive into the world of photography and editing, it gives Davey some amazing photos of himself... and it's something that all started with a little bitty smiley face drawn on a thumb.
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Every Friday all the Newsies go round to Meddas (Jack, Race and Smalls’ house to) and they all watch a film
They have a vote for what film they watch
They put in ONE film they would want to watch and then the vote but they can’t vote for their own and they can’t rig the vote
Race I’m looking at you.
And they have popcorn, sweets, drinks (non alc), chocolate and loads of food.
Also they are all in onesies
And they all have a sleepover
And Medda always teases the couples
(Also who wants a list of the onesies with pictures?)
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Racetrack Higgins x Fem!Reader
Modern Newsies au
Summary: Race was on top of the world his senior year of high school but when college came, he found himself lost. Then Y/N came along, and suddenly he felt like everything in the universe was aligned just right.
“All I’m saying is if they only serve certain meals at certain times a day, then why on Earth don’t they have enough seats for everyone who wants to eat? It is the dining center for crying out loud.”
Race could only roll his eyes as Albert gestured wildly around their campus’ packed dining center. It was an argument he had heard every day since move-in day three days ago and though, Race thought, Albert did have a point, there was little they could do to convince the administration they needed to expand the place college students paid to eat at.
“I mean I literally can’t see a single open table with two chairs.” Albert complained as Race shifted on his feet, the plate suddenly heavy in his hands.
Not now. Race’s thoughts went wild at the thought of sitting at a table with strangers, without his best friend, without the only person he knew on campus.
“I’m sure there has to be a table somewhere.” Race barely heard himself speak, but cringed at the shakiness in his voice as Albert hummed in thought.
“If Jack were here, he’d claim a table for us,” Albert said, and Race bit back the sarcastic response living in his mind.
If Jack were here, Race thought bitterly, we’d all still be a group of freshmen in a sea of upperclassmen fighting for the same space. But it didn’t matter because Jack wasn’t there. He was off at an art school out west. Katherine and Davey were at Harvard and all of their other friends had scattered throughout the country in search of their own dreams. Albert and Race were all alone in the hurricane of change that had forced itself into their lives. They had no one to help them find a table to eat at-only each other.
Distantly, Race heard Albert sigh. Focusing on the situation at hand, Race’s heart lifted as he caught sight of two empty chairs at a small table.
“That table has two chairs.”
“And a person in the third,” Albert said. “She’s probably saving the other chairs for her friends.”
“Or maybe she’s eating alone and won’t mind the company.”
“And if she’s eating alone because she wants to be alone?”
“Only one way to know for sure.” Race’s heart thudded against his chest vigorously as he marched toward the table without waiting for Albert’s response. He had made it halfway there when Albert reached his side, grumbling under his breath about how this was a bad, very bad, extremely bad, Racer-like idea. Race tried not to let his expression give away the slight tug of disappoint that pulled at his heart. Yes, many of his ideas in high school had landed him meetings with teachers and arguments with his parents, but it wasn’t like he ever got suspended or anything. And it was one of his plans that ended up pushing Davey and Jack together just in time for the Senior Prom.
By the time they reached the table, Race’s shoulders were tense and his mind pushed back against the idea of actually introducing himself and asking if they could sit there. Rigidly, he turned to tell Albert that when the girl glanced up at them and her eyes widened in an unspoken question.
“Uh, hi,” Albert gave a small wave as he shifted the plate in his hand to balance on his palm. “Do you mind if we sit here? There aren’t a lot of open spots.”
The girl blinked before silently moving her arm in an arc, palm up, to gesture at the open seats. “Be my guest.”
Race’s shoulders fell and he felt himself let out a breath as he and Albert clambered into the empty seats. “Thanks.”
The girl shrugged. “It’s always busy this time of day. I’m Y/N, by the way.”
“And I’m Albert.”
Y/N nodded as her phone dinged. She shot them an apologetic glance before lifting it up and typing something on the screen. Race and Albert watched silently as she sighed before pocketing the device.
“I’ve got to run. My friend has a calculator emergency. It was nice meeting you both, though. Maybe we’ll see each other around.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Race said offhandedly as his gaze dropped to his plate and Y/N stood up.
Two days later Race’s throat was numb with the loss of air as he dropped into the first open seat he saw in his Calculus class, his heart erratically shoving his chest in protest of his two-minute run across campus from one class to the next. He closed his eyes as he fought to regain his breath before the professor began the lecture.
“Fancy seeing you here. Where’d you run from?”
Race instinctively slammed his back into the back of the chair as his eyes snapped open and tore to his side where he found a grinning Y/N. He took another deep breath of air before attempting to speak. “Global Literature. Whoever thought putting the English department all the way across campus from the Math department could have made a memo about it for when we were signing up for classes.”
Y/N’s grin widened and her eyes sparkled. “But this way the school ensures students get some semblance of physical activity in their day-to-day routine.”
Race groaned, running a hand through his hair as he glanced toward the front of the lecture hall. “That’s what sports are for.”
“Don’t worry,” Y/N laughed. “You’ll get used to it eventually.”
Race eyed her curiously. “And I suppose you speak from experience?”
Y/N shrugged. “The only true nightmare comes when it’s winter and you have to worry about snow and ice.”
“Should I buy a pair of ice skates?”
“I mean good luck trying to skate through everyone else, but if you really want to…”
Race’s lips tugged upwards and the back of his throat bubbled with a laugh just as the professor called for the class’ attention and Y/N turned to face the front of the room. Race tried to pay attention to what the professor was saying, but fifty minutes later the only thing he knew was he handed his assignments in during the weekly discussion for the class. He was shoving his notebook and pencil into his backpack when Y/N cleared her throat. He glanced up to see her holding her phone out to him.
“In case one of us is sick or we need help remembering what the assignment is or something,” she explained, and Race’s mind didn’t make a peep as his hand reached to input his name and number before he had fully comprehended what he was doing. “And, I suppose, if you ever need advice on how to decrease the time it takes to run here from the other side of campus.”
Race laughed as he and Y/N exited the room. “I’ll ask you which ice skates I should buy and everything.” Y/N shook her head, and Race’s grin only grew. He didn’t think about how all of his high school friends except Albert weren’t in the same city as he was for a single moment.
Weeks later, Albert would pat Race’s back and, when only Race could hear him, admit that Race’s idea to ask Y/N if they could sit at the same table she was sitting at had been a good choice. Race laughed then, shook his head, and denied it. No, he would say. No, it was the best choice. And then Race would walk out of his and Albert’s dorm to meet Y/N for their first date, and would smile at the encouraging texts Jack, Davey, Katherine, Crutchie, and all of his other friends from high school sent him about it, but he would not think about how horrible the next few years would be without them.
So what if Jack was off at some art school out west, and Davey and Katherine were at Harvard, and the rest of their group was scattered throughout the country in search of their dreams? Albert was searching for his dream in the same city Race was finding his, and, Race decided, his luck couldn’t be all that bad if it had led him to Y/N.
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Something felt different when Race woke up the next morning. He opened his eyes to see his daddy still fast asleep, but he was curled up next to him tighter than normal. And there was purple on his neck. Daddy said it wasn't paint, once. Those marks were different. But they looked colorful and odd and Race knew that paint could make things change colors.
With shaky fingers, Tyler reached out to touch the mark. Daddy sighed in his sleep and Race mimicked him, his big blue eyes widening when he saw his breath leave his lips. Squinting a little in confusion, the child blew quietly at the ceiling.
He saw it again.
Looking up at Skylight, the little boy saw that the edges of It were white. He'd never seen Skylight look like that. In the middle, he could see grey. Daddy had said that those were clouds once. Aliens didn't like the rain.
Still, the boy could only focus on the smoke coming out of his mouth. "I'm a dragon…" he whispered. Dragons in TV breathed like that. Fire and smoke. Dragons were cool. They could fly and breathe fire and sometimes turn invisible. Race liked dragons. He rolled towards his daddy again, tapping his shoulder. "Daddy, look!" he whispered. Tired green eyes slowly opened but Daddy didn't say anything. "I'm a dragon!" Again, the boy breathed out steadily, watching smoke float up into the air above him.
Jack squinted. He took in a sharp breath as he slowly forced himself to sit up, his neck sore and his head hurting more than usual. His throat felt tight. He sniffled as he glanced up at the skylight and then at the radiator. His son watched him calmly as he reached over to the lamp and tried to click it on.
"Shit…" Jack hissed. The power was cut. For a split second, hope bubbled up inside him but he shut it down quickly. Still, he couldn't help but try, climbing off of the bed and trying to pry the electric door open with his fingers. It didn't budge. In a moment of frustration, he kicked at the thing, seeing Tyler sit up slowly in the bed.
Letting out a long sigh, Jack bit his lip. He'd lost track of time in Room plenty of times before, but he knew that it was November. It was only a couple days after his baby's birthday. And it was about to get really cold.
So Jack walked over to the wardrobe and pulled open the drawers, tossing Race two long sleeve shirts and a blanket, needing to keep the boy warm. Tyler was so small. If he got sick, it wouldn't be good. Jack didn't know what to do if Tyler got sick. Spider gave them six painkillers at a time. It was all the medication they had.
So Jack helped bundle his little boy up as best he could. He tried to ignore the soreness in the back of his own throat and the bruises that he knew wrapped around his neck. Tyler didn't argue with him. The boy still seemed a bit shaken and Jack didn't know what he could do to make it better.
He was still shaken too.
Time didn't stop for them. Jack let his little boy work through some stretches as he warmed up some oatmeal for breakfast. Talking hurt a little bit. Jack still wore his pajama pants and the only long sleeve t-shirt Spider had given him. He had a scarf around his neck, made of a strip of an old blanket, but it was more to hide the bruises than to actually keep him warm.
As the child sat down with a book at the table, Jack listened to him read. This story used to be one of his favorites. Someone used to read it to him. Someone used to read to him all the time.
"For, you see," the child said in a voice that was only innocent, "so many out-of-the-way things had hap-happened l… lat-ley—"
"Lately," Jack corrected gently as his son sounded out the words. The young man's voice was hardly more than a whisper.
"Lately," Tyler repeated, finding his place in the book again. "That Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible…" The child kept reading.
But Jack wasn't listening.
Last night played over again in his head as he stared down at the stove. He swallowed hard, thinking about his own screams and the inability to breathe or do anything while Spider talked about his son like he was an object instead of a little boy who had no clue what kind of life he was living, what kind of life Jack was living. Nothing had been on his mind but protecting that child. His child. Nothing had been on his mind but keeping that boy safe, the one thing he had left to do.
Something had sparked in him last night, something that he hadn't felt in a long time.
They need to get out.
He should be devastated right now, completely torn apart by reality as it slashed through him violently and chipped away another piece of him but all he knew was that he felt something. For the first time in a long time, he could feel something again. It was nearly overwhelming.
Mind whirling, Jack moved on autopilot, serving his boy breakfast before he found himself sitting in his chair, unable to move as so many different things rushed through his mind, so many memories resurfaced and he couldn't stop them. He could only stare down at his child, watching him for hours as he just went about his day without a care, reading, playing and drawing and coloring and feeling safe in a world Jack had created just for him because he thought that something was so far out of his reach he'd never be able to tell the truth.
But maybe Alice was right.
It must've been hours before Tyler sighed and looked up from his snake made of egg shells and a string. "Daddy?" he asked.
The young man flinched a little as he forcibly pulled himself from his thoughts and he shook his head. Five years and it had come down to this. Jack cleared his throat, sniffling as he ran a trembling hand through his hair. He knew what he had to do. He just hoped his kid would still be able to look at him the same way. "H-hey, Tyler, do you remember Mouse?" The words were odd and he felt sick just saying them. Anxiety flooded through him when Tyler nodded. "Yeah…" Jack breathed, biting his lip. "Ya know where he is?" He somehow managed to make himself sound quiet and calm even though he was screaming inside. Tyler shook his head, looking up at Jack curiously, a crayon in his hand. Jack paused for a moment, leaning closer to the boy and studying him for just a moment longer. Then he glanced around, almost like he was afraid someone might be listening. "I do…" The young man nodded over to the heavy metal door that he hated so much. "He's on the otha' side of this wall."
Looking over to the wall, the boy sat unamused, not quite picking up on the tone his daddy had in his voice. "In space?"
"No," Jack replied, shaking his head and blinking back the tears as he bit his lip. He swallowed hard. "In the world… it's a lot closer than outer space," he breathed, keeping his gaze steady and his voice quiet.
Big blue eyes stared up at him in pure uncertainty as though the very idea was completely ludicrous. "Dumbo, Da', there's Room 'n then outer space. Mouse lives on a TV planet—"
"It's not a TV planet," Jack cut off gently, reaching for his son's hand and carefully taking the crayon away from his small fingers. "Those things that you see on TV… they're pictures of real things, real stuff like trees 'n oceans 'n parks 'n people—"
Raising his eyebrows up in disbelief, the boy asked, "Dora's real, for real?"
At the question, Jack sighed. He shook his head and tried to remind himself that he was talking to a small, innocent child that had been lied to his whole life. He tried to remind himself how Tyler had grown to believe these things because it might have been easier that way. But this wasn't easier. It wasn't. "No, kid. Dora is a drawin'—"
"A drawin' like those?" the child interrupted again, pointing over to the sketches that were hanging on the wall with tape.
When Jack glanced up to those pictures, his heart sank. "No… not like those…" he whispered, taking in every feature, every detail of those people for the first time in years. He fought to tear his gaze away. "Do… do you see how those people… they look like us? People on TV, the ones that look like us, they're real people."
Tilting his head to the side, as he often did when there was something he wasn't understanding, Tyler brushed a hand through his hair. He shook his head, not believing the words.
Bouncing his leg a little bit Jack looked around, trying to find some way to explain this, some way to get his baby to understand. His eyes landed on the book Tyler had been reading. An idea sparked in his head as he looked back down to his son. "You know how Alice wasn't always in Wonderland? You remember how she was outside with Dinah? N' she—"
"She fell down, down, down into a hole!" Race finished with Jack, nodding as he caught onto at least that much.
Hope bubbled up in the young man's chest as he nodded. "Yeah! Yes! Well, I wasn't always in Room," he explained quickly. The little boy clearly still did not understand what was being said to him. Jack's chest tightened and he wished to cry. Aside from last night, he couldn't remember the last time he'd done so. "I was a little boy, just like you, except I didn't live in Room. My name was Jack. Jack Kelly. You asked me a long time ago why Spider called me 'Kelly,'. You remember?" he asked. Tyler didn't respond. "It's my name. My name's James Kelly. I lived in a house with a yard and a swing—"
"A house like in TV?"
Jack paused, reminding himself to take a deep breath. Tyler was curious and he was so, so smart, but Jack didn't know how to explain this because this was something no child should ever have to understand. "No, Tyler…" he nearly whined, his voice breaking with exhaustion as his throat still throbbed from last night. "A real house, one where I lived, outside of this place." The young man forced himself to slow down and paused as he realized how desperate he was beginning to sound, though the child didn't seem to notice. "Race, you're so smart… I know that you can get this… I know you wonder about what's on the other side of that door…"
Glancing over to the door, Tyler bit his lip. "What other side?"
Hardly reacting to those words, Jack just shrugged. "Tyler, there's two sides to everything," he informed the boy easily.
"Not an octagon."
If Jack didn't have so many other things running through his brain, he might have laughed. Instead, Jack just paused, taken aback by the sentence as he thought about it. The kid was right. "Well… yeah, but—"
"An octagon has eight sides," Race shrugged, those blue eyes never leaving Jack's face.
The young man scoffed. "Okay, kid. Ya got me there, but there's always two sides to a wall," he tried again, picking up the small book for reference. He stood the thing up and used his hand, closing it in a fist as he looked from little model to his son. "Look… we're here, on the inside," he stated, his fist on one side of the book before he moved it to the other side. "And out here… there's the world…"
Staring at the book hard, trying to figure it all out, Race scoot forward in his chair. "What's in the world?"
"Everything," Jack whispered, setting the book down on the table. "Cats and dogs and forests and beaches—"
"No way!" Tyler yelled. "Where would they all fit?"
"They just do. They just fit," Jack assured. He studied the child's face for just a moment, before continuing on. "Where do you think Spider gets our groceries?"
The little boy pointed to the television, as though it was obvious. "From TV, by magic!"
Shaking his head, Jack replied, "It's not magic, kid. He goes out into the world, into a store, and he buys them." The man looked down at his child. "Racer, I know what I told you was different, but you were little then. I didn't think you would understand. But now? Kid, you're so old now. You're so smart. I know that you can get this."
Letting out an innocent sigh, Race looked back down at his drawing. "Can I have somethin' to eat?" he asked, seeming more than uncomfortable with the topic of conversation, but Jack couldn't stop.
Frustrated, the young man groaned and let his head roll back so he was looking up. That's when he saw it.
Standing up quickly, he pointed. "Look! Look, that's a leaf!" he said, pointing to the single small thing that was stuck to the skylight with melted ice. It was a rotten brown color. He scooped his son up from under his armpits and helped him up closer to the single thing that had let them see outside.
The boy squealed. "Daddy!"
"I need you ta see this, Race," Jack said. "Look!" he pleaded, stepping up onto his own chair. Tyler could almost touch the skylight.
Squirming in his daddy's embrace, Tyler shook his head. "It ain't green! On TV, leaves are green!"
Letting out a breath and placing his son back on the ground, Jack shook his head. "They're green until they fall off trees, but then they fall n' rot n' turn brown—"
"What about the things you said?" The child asked. "Trees and dogs and cats and oceans?"
It began to hit Jack hard how tired and weak he felt. He glared up at the skylight. "We can't see them from here. Skylight looks up. Windows would look sideways so we could see them, but we ain't got no windows." He hated how difficult this was to explain. He hated that he couldn't truly give up, not even after all this time because he didn't want to burden the boy with this knowledge. But soon enough, Spider's interest would shift. And Jack couldn't let that happen.
Still, the boy pouted, twisting a bit as he stood, looking down at the ground. "You're tricking me."
Jack crossed his arms over his chest. "No, I ain't… I ain't, Racer. You were too small before. I had ta lie because you wouldn't understand, but I'm doin' the opposite now. I'm un-lyin', because you're five now. You're old enough ta understand what the world is," Jack continued on desperately as Tyler shook his head. "Yes. You have ta understand, Tyler. I need you to understand!" he insisted as his voice broke again. "We can't keep livin' like this! You have ta help me!"
The child lowered his head as he muttered more to himself than to his daddy, "I wanna be four again…"
The tears and breaks of Jack's heart only deepened at the words as tears built up in his eyes. Once again, his eyes found that small children's book that lay on the table. "Alice wasn't always in Wonderland. N' Daddy wasn't always in Room…" he began again with a deep breath. "I lived in the world… in a house with my mama n' my pop n'..." Jack glanced back at those sketches on the wall. "N' my big brother. You'd call him Uncle Specs…" Jack's words were shaky as he tried to smile at the name, that stupid nickname he'd given to the one person who had stood by him throughout his whole life. "N' my ma n' pa, your grandma n' grandpa. God, they'd love you…" Just thinking about all of it made the young man want to cry more, the urge to scream and bang on the walls hitting him even harder. "We used ta sit outside n' have barbecues in the backyard n' we'd sit on the swing n' eat ice cream."
Moving to sit back down, Tyler reached for his crayon again. He went right back to coloring.
Jack sighed and sat back down too. "When I was a little older… when I was sixteen, I was walkin' home from school all by myself, and a girl pretended that her dog was sick—"
Without even looking up, the boy still interrupted. Jack supposed he was grateful the kid was still listening. "What girl?"
Swallowing hard, Jack sniffled. "Sh-she was helping Spider. She… I think she was his niece—"
"Where is she now?"
"She's gone, Tyler—"
"What was the dog's name?"
"There was no dog!" Jack snapped before he whimpered, pressing his hands into his eyes. "Spider tricked me! He stole me, n' he trapped me here n' I can't get out!" The young man was shaking. He didn't want to go through this again. He didn't want to have to think about it ever again, the way that innocent smile had turned cruel and sadistic as he was shoved into the back of an old truck and taken away.
There was something in his daddy's voice that Tyler had never heard before. He sounded scared. His voice was high pitched. So Tyler looked up at him, stopping himself from continuing to color. "You said Room was our Refuge," he said.
"Room is a shed, Race! It's a garden shed!" Jack said, tears rolling down his face as he said it. "Spider locked the door and I don't know how ta get out! Ya know the secret numbers that Spider pushes ta open the door?" The boy nodded. "He's the only one that knows them. I don't know what they are. I've been locked in here for six years! I've been in Room for six years!"
Tyler shook his head and tried to go back to coloring. Jack grabbed his crayon and the boy pouted even more. "I don't like this story!" he whined.
"Well, it's the story you're getting!" Glaring up at the man, Tyler remained silent, so Jack shook his head. "Baby, the world is so big. It's so big, you wouldn't even believe it, n' Room is just one stupid part of it…" he whimpered, letting the tears fall freely now.
"Room ain't stupid! It's our home!" the child insisted, tears falling down his cheeks as well.
"I don't believe in your stupid world!" the child screamed.
For a moment, all Jack could do was stand there and let his bottom lip quiver before he collapsed back onto the ground and pulled his knees up to his chest and used his arms to shield his head. He let out a small sob as he hid his face from his son, trying to calm down even though he knew his chances of getting out of here were wearing thin. His son didn't understand. He may never understand and it was Jack's fault.
It was all Jack's fault.
Jack didn't say a word for the rest of the day. He sat on the ground until he dragged himself to bed, letting Race follow him. He went blind to what the boy had done, whether he'd eaten or not, whether he'd watched TV or read a book. He didn't know.
Then, he slept. It was all he had left to do.
Tyler cuddled up beside Daddy. He didn't like it when Daddy was sad and hugs made Daddy feel better. He didn't mean to yell at Daddy. He shouldn't have yelled. So he snuggled up to his chest and fell asleep.
He only woke back up when Lamp turned on.
The little boy breathed out, trying to see if he could be a dragon today just like he'd been yesterday. Dragons were cool. He liked being a dragon, but he supposed maybe being warm could be fun too. Daddy didn't like the cold.
Reaching up to touch Lamp, Tyler found that he couldn't see smoke coming from his own lips. "Daddy," he whispered, rolling over to face him. "It's warm again…" Green eyes slowly blinked open and looked at him, glancing at Lamp before they shut again. Daddy rolled away from him. "Daddy," Tyler called again, scooting closer to him. "Da'?" Daddy didn't move.
Sighing, Tyler pressed himself into his daddy's back as he sniffled just a little bit. He pulled the blanket up over himself and Daddy and tried to help warm him up. Daddy was shaking a little bit. He must've been cold.
"Daddy… do ya want me ta tell you a story?" Daddy didn't say anything. So Tyler just started talking. "Do ya wanna say hi ta Egg-Snake?" Egg-Snake was their longest friend. "Egg-Snake is the best at bein' fancy… n' Melty-Spoon is the best ta eat with. Toilet is the best at disappearing poo! And Labyrinth is the best at hiding things," he whispered. "N' you're the best at readin' n' singin' n' drawin'... when you ain't havin' a gone day…" The child hugged his daddy around the middle. He didn't like gone days. But he knew his daddy couldn't help them. So he just kept talking. "Lamp is the best at lightin' up Room…"
Jack listened to his baby ramble on. He didn't speak as he pressed his face down into his pillow. A tear slipped down his cheek and he didn't move any more as he felt the dip in the bed disappear from behind him. He could vaguely hear Tyler climb up onto the counter to grab the cereal. He could hear the boy eating and playing and stretching but he couldn't tear his gaze away from the wall.
It was another day gone for him.
And Tyler knew that.
The boy entertained himself that day, getting bored with anything and everything that he tried to do. He played with Egg-Snake and Labyrinth until he lay on the floor and stared up at Skylight, wondering about everything his daddy had told him the day before; about leaves and trees and dogs and cats and oceans and grass and Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Specs. He wondered what ice cream tasted like and how sand would feel between his toes.
He wondered about Spider, about why Spider would steal his daddy and why he wouldn't let Daddy leave.
When the light began to fade, Tyler stood up and made hand puppets in the yellow square on the wall. He didn't get dressed all day so he could lay with Daddy whenever he wanted to.
Daddy didn't move all day.
Tyler laid with him and told him The Story and other stories. He read to him and talked to him and sometimes he just went quiet so Daddy could sleep.
He went to get Truck out of Wardrobe after eating more cereal for dinner.
The little toy was bright red and brand new. Spider bought it for him.
Spider stole his daddy from the world.
Tyler looked at Truck and then back to Daddy. Then he broke off the wheel to Truck. And another one. And another. And the last. And he shoved Truck under Wardrobe and sauntered back over to Bed, snuggling up beside Daddy as he closed his eyes and told himself The Story quietly. "Once upon a time, you were all alone…"
Jack forced himself out of bed the next morning. He still wasn't talking, but he carried his son over to his chair and sat him down, wanting to apologize for being lost the day before and trying to force Race to understand everything all at once. So he turned the stove on and started to make some eggs as Tyler sat down in front of the TV.
The young man prepared breakfast and let it cool for a moment and he crossed Room to get to his son's clothes. He nearly tripped over something when he got there. Pausing to inspect whatever it was that had stopped him, Jack's heart warmed before breaking just a little bit more when he found the only gift Tyler had ever been given was completely trashed. He shook his head, trying not to read too much into it as he set some clothes out on the bed for his son and went back to the counter to serve some food.
He heard some show playing in the background. He thought nothing of it. Not until a small voice spoke up. "Are turtles real?"
Jack froze. He blinked, having not expected a question like that, so curious and patient. It took him a long moment to recover as he forced himself to nod. "Yeah… yeah, turtles are real," he confirmed, a small smile growing on his face for the first time in days.
"Sharks and crocodiles?"
"Yeah," Jack breathed, glancing back at the child. "They're all real," he said, scooping up some eggs and putting them on two plates before he went to sit beside his kid, watching the boy change the channel to some Victorian show.
"Real?" Race asked.
"Eh… Sort of…" Jack began slowly. "So… those are real people, but… they're playing pretend… they're telling a story with costumes," he explained the best way he knew how.
The remote clicked again. The boy watched the old cartoon for only a moment before he looked up at Jack. "Just TV."
Something new spread across the man's chest as he allowed his smile to widen just a little bit as he bumped his son's shoulder with his own, nodding. "Hey… you're gettin' it," he encouraged.
They fell into a silence as they ate. Jack could practically hear the gears in Racer's head turning as he watched TV, flipping through channels, trying to decipher what was real and what wasn't.
Eventually, Tyler set his plate aside. "When Spider comes back, I'm gonna kick his butt."
Smoothing back the child's hair, Jack pulled him into his side. "Ya know, I tried ta kick Spider's butt once…" he stated.
Tyler peeked up at him. "Really?"
"Yeah." Jack pointed over to the corner of the room. "Toilet used ta have a lid on it. It was the heaviest thing in Room," he explained. "I picked it up n' I hid behind the door n' when Spider came in, I smashed him on the head with it." It was all so long ago, but Jack could still feel ghosts of pain shoot through him as he recalled what happened next. "But I wasn't fast enough. Amelia… the girl that helped steal me… she shut the door n' Spider grabbed my wrist." Jack gently held Race's wrist in his hand, rubbing the exact spot his own wrist still hurt. He used to be right handed. It hurt so much now. "That's why it's sore now…"
The child snuggled into his daddy's side. "We could wait till he's asleep n' kill him dead!" he suggested.
Hearing the boy talk like that should've worried Jack, but he did not react. He only scooted himself in front of the child, nodding his head as he sat criss cross in front of him. "Yeah… we could… but then what?" Jack asked. "We'd run out a' food. N' we don't know the code to the door."
"The Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle could come help us," Tyler suggested.
Jack's heart swelled at the mere idea of the door breaking down and his brother rushing to him, his mama and his pa running in right behind to hold him and carry him out of there. But, "They don't know where we are, baby…" he sighed. "Room ain't on a map."
But Jack shook his head. "Hey… let me show ya somethin'..." he whispered, standing to his feet and taking his son's hand in his own. He led the boy back over to the bed and lifted him up so he could stand in front of the sketches that were taped to the wall. Jack looked at them all over again as he sat on his knees in front of them. He let his fingers trail over the boy he'd drawn so long ago, the one that only looked slightly like him, the one taped in between a beautiful woman and a kind old man. He lifted the piece of paper up from the bottom, revealing a small string necklace, a small charm in the shape of the moon hanging at the end of it. It was taped to the wall, hidden. Jack had nearly forgotten it. "This is the most important thing I have in Room…" he said, peeling the thing from the wall, and playing with the charm in his fingers before he hung the thing around Tyler's neck. "This was your Uncle Specs's. He gave it ta me when I was fifteen for my birthday so that I would know that he was always lookin' out for me…"
Tyler looked down at the thing, inspecting it for a long minute before looking back up at his daddy.
"Tyler… do you wanna meet the world?" Jack asked, watching the child before him with all of the love he had in him. The five year old nodded. "Okay, we have one chance. We have one chance ta do this, do you understand?" Again, the boy nodded, hesitantly this time. "Okay… I'm gonna need your help, baby. You're gonna help me."
Tyler gripped the charm in his hand tightly, looking up at his daddy, uncertain of what was about to happen. But Jack just nodded, letting out an anxious breath.
"You're gonna help me trick The Spider."
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He Couldn't be His Pt. 2
Word count: 1,102
Characters: Spot, Race, Jack, Albert (mentioned), Katherine (mentioned)
Pairings: Sprace, Jatherine, Ralbert (mentioned)
Tags/Warnings: Mutual pining, one implied mention of NSFW
Verse: Modern College AU
Request Info: Here
Synopsis: Race and Spot go out for breakfast after Race got drunk and crashed there. Jack finds the two ad has a few things to say.
Spot Conlon had always woken up early. When he was younger, he'd had to wake up the other boys in his foster home, and the habit stuck. It made early classes easier, but now it was summer and as he made his way into the kitchen, he remembered that he had his own personal sunshine in his living room. Not that Race was his of course- That was crazy, the boy was in love with Albert. His ex-boyfriend. Spot couldn't compete with that.
Albert was loud and chaotic, a club on a Friday night with the colourful lights flashing and music blaring. Always touching his partner, whether it be an arm around the shoulder, a hug, holding hands, or pulling them into his lap. He was tall, muscular, and had long, wavy red hair and a small smattering of freckles across his face like Race had painted them there himself. Or more accurately, like Jack had when Race described his taste in guys.
Spot was much different than that, quieter with a more commanding presence. He was more like a court room, even if he wasn't as orderly as he should be, he was still strong and respected and those who didn't see him that way faced the consequences. Unlike Albert, he wasn't overly comfortable with being touched. Also unlike him, he was short with short, dark hair and tanned skin. Nobody would paint him.
He moved quietly around his small apartment, haunting the place like a lovesick ghost until the gorgeous boy on the couch woke up. He wasn't in love with Race. Of course he wasn't. He just thought he was pretty, and funny, and made him feel like nobody else had ever been able to. As he was making his coffee, a rustling noise behind him drew his attention.
"Race?" He turned to face him.
"Spot?" He looked very confused, wincing as he tried to look around. "What exactly happened last night?"
"You came here late last night upset over your breakup with Albert. Brung- pizza and wine and stuff- Put on a movie and got drunk and fell asleep in my lap. I didn't wanna wake ya so I just let you be on the couch."
"Oh... that's-" Race sighed, if Spot didn't know better, he'd've sworn the blond was blushing a bit in the dim light of the apartment. "'M sorry, Spot."
"None of that now- You don't need ta apologise ta me."
He opened his mouth to protest, but Spot gave him a look that made him think twice. He walked over to the couch and sat down next to Race.
"You okay, Race?"
"Mhm, I'm fine." He looked sick, but tried to hide it.
"No ya ain't- We're gonna get you out to get food. Moving around will help you feel better, and some..." he thought for a minute, "waffles will help you get any alcohol left in your stomach gone."
He groaned at the thought of getting up and moving, but Spot was already tugging on his arms. Next thing Race knew, he was being dragged out of Spot's apartment and down the few blocks to a waffle place nearby.
It was all coming back to him as he slumped over in his booth at the restaurant. He had shown up uninvited even though he knew Spot had had a heavy workload the day before. He groaned again as he remembered exactly what he'd done. Sobbed into his chest, embarrassing, but not too bad. But laying with his head on his lap? Falling asleep on him? He'd crossed some line he couldn't go back from and probably screwed everything between them up. Race hated himself for doing that. Spot was one of his best friends, and he'd done that? Gosh he probably hated him. Or pitied him. He couldn't decide which was worse.
"You doing okay?" Spot's voice broke through his thoughts, interrupting his misery.
"Mhm... 'm fine, Spotty. Just tired." He sighed, propping his head up on his hand so he could look at him. "I'm sorry."
"For- last night- I uh- I was outta line. Shouldn't've done that. 'M sorry." His face reddened as he spoke.
"You don't need to apologise. I promise."
"You sure?" he frowned, looking even younger than he was compared to Spot. His big blue eyes were filled with sadness.
"Course I'm sure," he smiled at him, flagging down a waiter to come take their order.
Jack had crashed at Albert's place the night before. Everyone had, to be honest. They'd all gotten drunk and nobody was in any shape to go anywhere else. Except for Jack. He and Katherine had gotten into too many fights over his drinking habits so he decided to try and swear off drinking, at least when she wasn't around to keep just one more drink from turning into far too many.
Because of this, he ended up being the designated sober friend who stuck around making sure everyone was alive and woke up safe and sound. Then he went and drove to get waffles for everyone, too lazy to make hangover food for everyone. He'd been to the restaurant a thousand times, seen a bunch of different people. It was New York City after all. But nothing had stopped him in his tracks like seeing Race and Spot Conlon at a table together.
Instead of his usual walking up to the counter, flashing the girl working there a smile, and ordering, he made his way over to their table, sliding into the booth next to Race with an arm slung around his shoulder.
"Fancy seeing you here," he smirked at them and it only grew when Spot's face reddened just slightly.
"What are you doing here Kelly?" Spot glowered at him, making Jack's smirk grow even more.
"Picking up food. What are you two doin' here? Together?"
Spot opened his mouth to answer, but Race beat him to it. "I may have gotten uh- drunk last night and- crashed at Spotty's place last night."
"Spotty?" Jack raised a brow.
"Only I call him that-" Race pouted.
"Why do you call 'im that?"
Spot barely suppressed a sigh, watching as Race leaned more into Jack, resting his head on his shoulder.
"You alright dere Conlon?"
"Of course. Don't you got food to pick up?"
"Yeah, I do- Don't you got stuff to do?" He glanced between him and Race, implying what 'stuff' was. Both boys blushed and looked away from each other. "I'll see ya later."
With that, he stood and left, leaving the two to their food.
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*Modern day Newsie headcannon*
Race always has a breadstick hanging out of his mouth instead of cigars
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Me? Drawing Ralbert hugs? It's more likely than you think
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Race is a horse girl, Jack is a horse girl, and Crutchie is a horse girl by association
None of them have ever been on a horse, but Race petted one once at the fair
Katherine is also a horse girl, but she’s literally a horse girl, like with her own horse and everything
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Modern Newsies AU where instead of cigars, Race just eats candy canes. All year round. He started with like a jumbo pack of 30 and kept getting more every Christmas and birthday so now no one knows how many he has, not even Race. And he only gives them to like three people-- Albert, Crutchie and Spot. When they’re being really nice.
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Newsies modern AU where Jack and Davey run a startup company that makes this stuff. Why is it named after the two of them? Because they're dating.
(yes this is a screenshot of a tumblr ad because I saw it and couldn't get it out of my brain until I made this post)
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idk if this is just a me thing or if it's a universal fansie experience, but whenever I see like a date that was like over fourty years ago I'm like wOAH that was x amount of years after/before the newsboy strike of 1899!
Like, OMG 1920! That was 21 years after the newsboy strike of 1899!
This was published 51 years after the newsboy strike of 1899!
SMUCKER'S STARTED MAKING JAM 3 YEARS BEFORE THE NEWSBOY STRIKE OF 1899!! RACETRACK HIGGINS COULD HAVE EATEN THE SAME TYPE OF JAM I HAD ON MY SANDWICH YESTERDAY!
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In a modern au the brooklyn newsies would always have to be separated when they played dodgeball or benchball in pe as they’re to competitive and together they would absolutely reek havoc on the other teams
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Headcanons on Canon and Modern Race!
When he’s ill Jack forces him to sell in Manhattan and doesn’t let him out of his sight.
He craves attention. And when he doesn’t get it he will literally sit on a random newsies lap and say “give me attention” this usually doesn’t work
He only rarely lights his cigar, only when he’s stressed.
Him and Mush used to have a thing but now they’re just friends.
He was the one who made Crutchie’s crutch
When he’s stressed (as well as lightning a cigar) he will go to the theatre
He knows Medda through Jack and she practically adopted him
He’s been in the refuge twice. Once for stealing some fruit and twice for being loud and rude
There is a lil newsie called Theo who Race has practically adopted
Him and Spot knew each other before the strike but they only started properly talking after the strike.
Lived in Italy until he was twelve
He’s a HUGE theatre kid
He’s been in school productions of Hamilton (Lafyette and Jefferson), Mean Girls (Mathleate), Heathers (JD) and he was a swing in Beetlejuice
He lives with Jack, Smalls and Medda
Functions on caffeine
He’s been arrested once for being loud and disorderly
Him and Spot are both madly in love with each other and everyone knows it except them
Has done drag at least twice
He lived in Italy until he was twelve
Can and will rap Guns and Ships in Italian.
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newsies on twitter
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Opening — Room
A TV Show Called Earth — Philip Labes
Control (Acoustic Guitar Version) — Zoe Wess
Get You The Moon — Kina, Snøw
Two — Sleeping at Last
Daddy — Coldplay
Two Birds — Regina Spektor
Lost Without You — Freya Ridings
The Mighty Rio Grand — This Will Destroy You
Home — Phillip Phillips
listen before i go — Billie Eilish
Hold On — Chord Overstreet
Runaway — AURORA
In Case You Don’t Live Forever — Ben Platt
Love is a Compass — Griff
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Look I did a thing. Modern AU Race <3
I dunno I kinda hc him with like lotsa tank tops/muscle shirts and ripped vests.
More in reblogs
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some modern Davey headcanons for a Monday night
I love him, okay?
- Ya boy puts way too much honey in his tea. Like, A LOT. Jack goes to try it one time to see if he wants the same flavour and holy fuck it’s like mostly honey.
- In English class he will argue with the teacher if he thinks the word count limit for an essay/story is too small and you can bet he will win.
- Davey hates math. He gets decent grades in it but the days he doesn’t have math on his schedules are the best days in his opinion.
- He’s one of the only newsies with a car so he has to shuttle everyone around.
- Davey’s obsessively clean, and when COVID hit he was wiping down his house every hour, on the hour, with disinfectant.
- He speaks Polish and he’s trying to learn Spanish outside school so he can take IB Spanish with Jack and Race.
- He texts with perfect punctuation and grammar, even when it’s urgent, and he never uses all capital letters.
- Davey’s favourite movies are a three way tie between Beauty and the Beast (the old one), Kill Your Darlings, and the third Harry Potter movie.
- His guilty pleasure movie is Legally Blonde.
- DAVEY IS A STAGE MANAGER AND YOU CAN FIGHT ME ON THIS.
- When he was twelve or thirteen he discovered Les Mis (like, started to listen to it) and listened to it on loop for an entire year. Race makes fun of him for it a little.
- He tutors little kids for free, but their parents insist on paying him anyways. He tries to say no but always ends up going home with a tenner in his pocket.
- His favourite food is any fruit. Like, he will pick fruit over dessert any time (especially if it’s covered in chocolate, but he’ll eat it straight up too).
- Kath made him a string friendship bracelet in the eighth grade and he’s never taken it off.
- He was really short until the summer between eighth and ninth grade when he shot up to as tall as Race.
- His sister Sarah always tries to set him up with guys and girls and he never lets her, but he sets her up with girls all the time.
- oh yeah Davey’s very bi too. Male preference, but still bi.
feel free to add!
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Modern! Spot Conlon and Long John
^Spot ^Long John
Long John is the lad who asks Jack "where ye going Kelly?" In Newsies 1992 while Jack, David and Boots go to Brooklyn to negotiate with Spot. Long John is a fanon name but I like to think they're brothers or related in some way.
I used the picrew made by @makowwka on twitter who I'd totally recommend following!!
And I will be following up on modern newsies in the future!
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Modern Headcannon no 1 :
Sarah Jacobs loves photography.
While not being able to afford any kind of super fancy camera or anything, Sarah fell in love with the old family digital camera from a pretty young age. From family events to making little stories with her brothers through photos, Sarah was always able to create her own masterpieces. She always felt proud of this fact.
Days when Esther would take the kids to the pharmacy were always the best, because Sarah would scrimp save her money to have her photos printed. Every event was documented, from David loosing his first tooth to Les' first birthday. She became the designated family photographer.
Eventually, Sarah started taking more and more photos of the city. She wrote stories about her snapshots, made sure they were dated. She created beautiful photo albums and scrap books. Searching through thrift stores and coming across a disposable camera with film still in it was a golden opportunity. And suddenly, when David brought home a new friend, Sarah's camera role filled up even faster than before.
Photos of new friends, memories to be kept forever, surviving through film and tape. Random selfies on her walls, full family portraits to be hung proudly in the living room, prints of beautiful sunsets and natures.
But one thing Sarah would always photograph was the sunrise. Waking up early during the most quiet moments of the morning to take a few shots of something she can completely relate to, even if she didn't understand why. Whether the shot was blurry or totally clear, Sarah kept her little collection of sunrises close to her heart.
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