|An Unforgiven Past
Author: GaelicEyes10 PM
The life of a newsie isn't without it's dangers or rivalries. When Brooklyn and Manhattan need to come together to help an innocent, the results are what no one expects.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Adventure - Spot C. & Jack K. - Chapters: 16 - Words: 31,200 - Reviews: 79 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 04-25-09 - Published: 01-09-05 - id: 2212530
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Well hello there, I'm back!! I've finally gotten my writing groove back so I'll be updating a ton of stories and all. On another note, I'm watching Wife Swap and holy moley some people are disgusting. This one place doesn't clean and they don't flush and they have ants all over their clothes. EW.
Anway, hope you enjoy! I kinda rushed it but the next one will be longer.
It had been nearly three weeks since Rachel had left New York and her old life behind. She hadn't heard a peep from the city since her uncle chartered a way for her to get out of New York and gain a new, respectable life. Most people couldn't see her uncle doing that, but before he turned to a life of crime he had been just like one of her fancy, rich customers on the streets. His family, though they may have disowned him, had always been willing to take in his son or niece if need be. And so he sent out word that very hour that she wanted to start a new life and two hours later a carriage pulled up at the station to take her to the train station where she would board a train to Boston. She hadn't bothered to pack anything and she hadn't bothered to leave word of where she was going with anyone. She had sworn her uncle to secrecy but she didn't know if he would keep such a secret from his own son.
Her new 'family' consisted of her uncle's best friend from childhood and his wife and son. The son, Derek, was about Rachel's age and was smarter than any other boy she had met. He immediately started to teach her about the things kids her age should know, especially considering her new role in life. She had changed her name, deciding to go with Cassandra, her mother's name. Derek and his band of friends started calling her Cassie for short and she was really starting to get into her new life. For the first week she got up at the crack of dawn and kept on forgetting she didn't have to work the papes that day or earn her living space for the night. It was all so foreign to her, as was Boston. Her new mother, of whom she called 'mom' just for measure, took her to the salon and shopping the day after she arrived. There wasn't much they could do about the fading cuts on her face, but the story was that she left New York after a terrible fire ripped through her house and she was injured from the shattering glass. They had cut her hair so that it came just below her chin and gave her such products to keep it tame. They had clean and scraped out underneath her fingers and gave it a glossy shine. After she was polished up, she was taken to the local dress-shop and given more clothes than she ever thought she'd own in a lifetime. She no longer wore pants and was slowly getting accustomed to her new life. Her new family was a well-to-do family that was well-known in the area. Her 'father' was a prominent lawyer and often she went to the dances where she was introduced to the sons of other lawyers. No one talked or asked about her life in New York, and the only family member that she talked about her experiences in New York was with Derek. After her history was told to him, he became the big brother she never had and took her under his wing.
Of course there were times she thought about New York, Jack, Race, Spell, Catherine and Spot. Especially Spot. She didn't spill any tears for him simply because she knew she made the decision to leave and if he really cared about her, he'd find out where she was. She was slowly starting to not think of him everyday though. She knew that she had to move on her with her life and leaving him in the past would be the biggest step. She was already fitting in nicely with the students at the private school both she and Derek attended. She had become instantly popular because she was so bubbly in school and was eager to get to know other people. She had a large group of girlfriends and a boy that she especially liked and hoped that he'd ask her for a shake sometime soon. She was, in fact, a shadow of her former self. She wondered at times if her old friends would even recognize her as Cassandra. And she was also slowly starting to think what would have become of her had she not gotten out of New York when she had.
But one thing still plagued her daily life, however. Every day, she'd be on her way to school with Derek and she'd spot the local Boston newsies, selling their papers just the way she had only a little while before. It was at times like that, when she wasn't distracted, that she would remember how hard it was for her as a newsie. It also helped propel her to persuade her friends to buy the papers as often as they could, because she knew how much those newsies depended on the money they got from papers they sold.
Besides that, however, Rachel was semi-content with her life. She did miss the fast paced life that came with being a newsie, and even though the run-ins with the police were dangerous, they still made her life interesting. The friends in New York made her life interesting and so did her cousin Jack, what with his rally the year before and all.
"Wake up," she heard her adoptive mother's knocking on her door, interrupting her sleep. "Time to get ready for the fair."
"Up," Rachel said, getting up from where she was sitting at her desk and opening the door. "I just can't figure out what to wear…I've never…well been to one of these things," Rachel tried to hide the embarrassment she had.
Alice, her adoptive mother, smiled warmly at her. "Don't worry dear, we'll pick something out," she said, moving towards the closet where Rachel's clothing was. "I was thinking about that white dress with the red trim. It's spring-ish enough and it looks great on you. The grass there shouldn't be wet, so you can wear those white shoes as well. We'll keep your hair down, I remember getting a picture of you as a little girl with your hair down and in a dress just like that, you looked so pretty." She said, looking back at you before picking out the dress and laying it over your bed.
Rachel smiled, remembering the picture she was talking about. It had been one of the only mementos she had from her childhood and she kept it with her always. When Rachel came to live with them, Alice had the dress made specifically to what Rachel had worn as a child and presented it to her as a little present. Rachel had been overwhelmed with emotion and couldn't begin to thank Alice for doing that. She slipped behind the dressing screen with her dress and slipped it on, coming out so that Alice could button up the twenty tiny little buttons in the back. "I love it," she exclaimed when Alice finished, twirling and smiling at herself in the mirror. "It's gorgeous!"
Alice smiled warmly at her. "Well then let's get on those shoes and fix your hair so we can be on our way. Derek should be downstairs and Richard is getting the carriage," she said, referring to Rachel's adoptive father.
Meanwhile, back in New York Spot stormed into the Brooklyn's lodging house, sitting down on the closest couch to the door with a loud groan. Jetty, who came in after Spot, sat down next to him.
"Spot?" He asked, tentatively looking at his leader. "Maybe it's time to call in some of the other boroughs. I don't think we're gonna be able to handle canvassing all of New York for her. I know, between us, Manhattan and Bronx that we're a big group, but still. Maybe we need to call in Queens and them."
Spot shook his head. "I ain't calling them in. We'll find her, damnit we'll find her." He growled, looking across the room to where Whisper and Catherine sat, heads bent close together as they worked on another missing persons flyer for Rachel.
It had been too long since Marty came into Brooklyn telling Spot that Rachel had left her hideaway in a fit of despair. And no one, not even Jack, knew where she could be. They had canvassed the train yards to see if she was there and talked to the conductors who said they've never seen her before.
Spot still remember the gut-wrenching feeling he had when Marty had told him Rachel was gone. He didn't know where he thought he was going when he ran out of the lodging house and he wasn't aware of where his feet were taking him until he came to rest at the Manhattan Lodging House. The reaction to his news about Rachel there had been grim. Jack had almost killed him, blaming him for letting her loose and for not taking care of his cousin. But then it was Jack who broke down, crying; something that Spot had never seen nor wanted to see anymore in the leader. It was raw, utter emotion and Jack blamed himself for Rachel's disappearance.
Ever since then, the two boroughs, along with Marty's Bronx newsies, had been scouring the city for her but no news had come of late. With Jetty's suggestion that Spot call on the other boroughs for help, Spot realized what situation he was in at last.
There was no news of Rachel, there wasn't any sightings and he hadn't been able to think about her being in trouble or hurt. He kept believing that she was living on the streets or that she had taken lodging in some girls shelter somewhere, but all leads had turned up empty. He couldn't bear the thought of another borough hiding her, talking to her and not letting the three toughest boroughs in on the secret they were keeping. That is, unless they simply didn't know who she was. She wasn't at Jack's rally the year before so they wouldn't recognize her. Same things with kids who worked in the factories, of which the newsies had searched as well, much to the dismay of factory owners and managers.
But still no answer had arisen from any of their searching and he could tell from the way the newsies carried themselves that they gave up hope of finding her a long time ago. A kid couldn't survive on their own in the streets of New York for a week, let alone three weeks.
Spot was pondering on Jetty's question and what his answer would be when Jack barged through the door, followed closely by Mush and Race. Jumping off the couch, Spot stared at Jack, hoping the reason for this sudden entrance meant he found something out about Rachel.
As fate would have it, luck was on his side. "We found her," Jack said breathlessly, racing over to where Spot stood. In the corner, Whisper and Catherine immediately perked up at the news, smiles spreading across their faces as they ran over to meet Jack as well.
"Where?" Was all Spot could get out as he stared down Jack.
"I went to talk to my father, since he got transferred back to the jail here. I pressed him about it and asked if he knew where Rachel was. He said she swore him to secrecy and all he could tell me was that she was in Boston. He wouldn't say where in Boston or what family she was with, but that she was in good hands. He arranged for her to get on a private train as soon as she came to see him, which is probably why we couldn't get information from conductors. Private train passengers are helped on by managers of the stations and their names aren't supposed to be released." Jack said breathlessly. "So all we need to do is to get to Boston and find her."
"That's not an easy task," Catherine said, crossing her arms. Spot shot her a look but she just gave him it right back. "Look, I'm happy she's found, but do you know how big Boston is? It's huge. And we don't even know the type of family she's with. They can be lower, middle or upper class. There's different regions in Boston for classes just as it is in New York. She could be anywhere."
"But the point is," Race said from the right of Jack. "That we know she's there. All we gotta do is get there. We can split up into three different teams, each of them scouring the regions for her."
"I'm with Race," Spot said. "We have to find her."
"How?" Whisper said suddenly. "It's not like we have the funds to get a train to Boston. Let alone all of us," she said, gesturing towards the group of six.
"Well, how did Rachel get a train to Boston?" Spot asked Jack. "That could be an answer. If your father could get her on a train, a private train nonetheless, who says we can't."
"Because we can't," Race said fervently. "Rachel had saved up all her money from selling papers and stored it at the Bronx lodging house. Remember when Marty said her savings was missing? She could've easily afforded a private train to Boston with that stuff, plus more."
Jack punched the wall he was leaning against. "We need to find her. There's gotta be a way to find her. Or at least get someone there until the rest of us can scrounge up the money to pay for tickets."
"I have an idea," Catherine said. "Me and Whisper, we've also been saving up our money and we'd be able to afford tickets to Boston. Besides, we can dress the part of upper class so we can at least look for her in that part. Our mother also lives there, remember Spot?" She asked, referring to the fact that the siblings only had the same father, not the same mother. The girls' mother had gone off to marry a rich lawyer in Boston and both Catherine and Whisper visited her on occasion. "We could visit our mother, for a little vacation, but search for Rachel. If she's come into the upper class society there our mother would know about it."
Whisper nodded. "Agreed. I mean, if we can't use our mother to our advantage, what's the use?" She said, laughing. "C'mon Spot, it's a good idea, right?"
Spot looked at Jack and Race who both nodded in agreement. "Alright fine, but you better write to us as soon as you get there. And as soon as you find out some information. We'll be there as soon as we can get the money."
Whisper and Catherine smiled. "Awesome," Catherine said. "Now, excuse us gentlemen but we have some packing and writing to do. We have to send mother a little telegram telling her we're coming."
With that, Whisper and Catherine brushed past Spot to make their way upstairs. "This is gonna work, right Kelly?" Spot asked Jack who stood looking after the girls, bewildered.
"They're just gonna be able to visit their mother?" Jack asked, focusing back on Spot. "Just like that?"
Spot nodded. "Yeah, she loves having them there. She honestly thinks they live the same way here, but with my father locked up as well it's not the truth. It's weird, with Catherine living in Ireland before coming here and Whisper having run away for so long. The family came together at last, but it's still divided. Mothers are all different and their mother wants nothing to do with me," he said shaking his head.
His family was discombobulated and he had nothing to do with it. Catherine was born in Ireland, when both his father and his mother were there but she had to stay there because she was born in country and the officials wouldn't let her go. Lucky for them, Spot's grandparents lived in Ireland so they had taken care of little Catherine. And after Whisper was born not too long after they made it back to New York, their mother had decided she wanted a better life and married the rich lawyer to move to Boston. Spot was happy to have both Catherine and Whisper in his life, but he was always painfully reminded that they had another life outside of his, one of which they could play dress up and go out with the upper class society, a life he would never know.
He could only hope their plan to find Rachel in Boston would work. Or else Spot wasn't sure what he would do with himself.