The strike had finally ended, he had Crutchie back, and he had Katherine. He really loved Katherine. Enough to give up his dream of going to Santa Fe. He ended up staying in this dump for her. But he thought at least this dump feels sorta like home, I've got all the Newsies. Jack woke up at sunrise, to the sound of Crutchie clomping around again. Jack sat up and picked up one of his drawings. He began to keep filling in the crop he was drawing. Crutchie looked over to see Jack awake, and said,
"Oh, sorry, did I wake ya?" Jack shook his head and smiled at Crutchie. He watched as Crutchie hopped around the "penthouse" getting ready for the day of selling papes. Jack rolled up his drawings and started to pull on his shirt. He then helped Crutchie down the stairs, and they made their way to Newsies square. Jack came in to find Race jumping around like the place was a jungle gym. He watched as all the newsies played and joked around. He looked into the crowd for Katherine, but she was nowhere to be found. Crutchie looked over to see Jack still scanning the crowd.
"She told me to tell you she wouldn't be here this morning." A confused Jack looked over to Crutchie.
"She said what?" asked Jack
"She told me that she went to work, and she wouldn't be here this morning," replied Crutchie.
"Oh" muttered Jack under his breath. He walked further into newsies square where he was greeted by Race.
"Well, good mornin' Captain Jack! Hey what's wrong, is Pulitzer mind controlin' ya again?" Race nudged Mush who gave a slight laugh. Jack shooed off Race staying quiet. He was upset that Katherine wasn't here this morning, she was always there to see him off for a day's work. A yell came out over Newsies Square. "PAPES TO THE NEWSIES! LINE UP BOYS!" Everyone scrambled in line, while Race yelled above all the noise, "Weasel! Did ya miss me during the strike?" Mr. Wiesel responded with a curt, "For the millionth time Anthony it's Wiesel!" All the newsies started to tease Race, calling him Anthony. Race shut his mouth and got in line. Jack stepped into the front of the line where he put down his money and he got his papers. He waited for Davey and Les outside the square. They all went off together to start selling. After a few minutes, Davey asked
"Is something wrong Jack? You're awfully quiet this morning." Jack nodded and said,
"Katherine didn't come and see me this morning, and it got me thinking," Davey questioned further,
"What are you thinking about?" Jack sighed and began to explain.
"Well I love her and she loves me, but we met during the strike so there was never a lot of time for us to get to know each other. I'm just not sure what to do to know her better." Davey nodded in understanding. They all walked in silence for a few moments before Les broke it.
"Hey, Jack! Did ya ever think about taking her on a date?" Jack paused for a moment thinking that the idea has never crossed his mind. Jack looked down at Les and smiled. He ruffled Les's hair and said,
"Thanks for the idea kid." Les smiled up with pride, the three boys continued to sell their papers until they had none left. They all walked back to Newsies Square with their pockets jingling. Jack saw Katherine waiting at the gate to the World. He ran over to her and they embraced in a hug. Crutchie hobbled over still struggling after the refuge and joined them. The three of them walked together out of Newsies square. They walked all the way to the "penthouse" and Crutchie started to climb up the ladder to the top. Crutchie saw that Jack wasn't following and hesitated. Jack saw Crutchie stop and said,
"Go on up, I'll be there in a sec." Crutchie looked from Jack to Katherine and smiled. He continued up the ladder, Jack watched as Crutchie climbed and smiled as he made it to the top. By now the sun had gone down and the bright lights of New York City blocked out all the stars. Jack looked at the sky and then to the ground. He started to mumble,
"Well…um… Katherine, I uh, was wondering if, ya know you wanted to get to know me better. And well I want to get to know you better, and I was talking to Les…and um he thought we should go on a date, and I was wondering if you would want to. I mean if ya don't then we don't have to…" Katherine cut a stuttering Jack off and said,
"I would love to go on a date with you, I was just about to ask you the same question." She beamed at him and he beamed back. He started to ask her what she liked to do, at the same time she was asking what he liked to do. Then they both giggled and Katherine said,
"Well how about you plan something that I like to do for the first part of our date, and then I'll plan the second part of our date with something you like to do." Jack nodded, and asked,
"Well, what do you like to do?" Katherine paused for a moment to think before answering.
"I like to dance, write, be with you and all the other newsies as well." Jack smiled and said,
"Well, I like to look at the stars and to be with my brothers. I also like to just walk around the city." He could see that Katherine was deep and thought and look up towards the sky, noticing that Crutchie had been listening to the whole time. Jack smiled as Crutchie quickly pretended not to be listening. Katherine then said,
"Well I have to go my father will be waiting for me, so I have to go." Jack nodded in understanding and said,
"So tomorrow for our date, after work?" Katherine nodded and smiled. She walked away, Jack just stared and smiled so excited for their date. He climbed up the ladder to see a beaming Crutchie. He muttered under his breath,
"What's got you so happy Crutchie?" Crutchie crawled over to Jack not able to wipe a goofy grin off his face.
"You and Katherine are gonna go on a date! And I'm gonna help." Jack looked up from his drawings and saw that Crutchie was serious.
"Oh Crutchie, you don't need to help, I can handle it." Crutchie gave him a stern that Jack had never seen from his little brother.
"I wasn't offering Jack, I'm helping. Now tell me what you've got planned!" Jack was surprised at the assertiveness that Crutchie was showing. Jack was at a loss for words.
"She said she likes to dance, so I thought we could go and dance."
"That's perfect!" exclaimed Crutchie.
"I know that Jojo has an old record player, we can get music from that and then you guys could dance in Newsies Square!" Jack watched as Crutchie continued to talk about his date and laughed. Crutchie looked over to see a laughing Jack.
"Hey what's so funny Jack?" Jack smiled and said,
"You seem more excited for my date than I do!" Crutchie laughed
"I guess you're right!" Crutchie scooted next to Jack
"You really love her don't you?" Jack looked up at the stars and said,
"Yeah, I really do." Crutchie smiled,
"You guys are perfect for each other." Jack playfully punched Crutchie in the arm and he punched back.
"Alright, well I can't be tired for my date so it's time for me to get some sleep. For you too." Crutchie crawled over to the makeshift bed of newspapers and old scraps of clothes.
"Well I'll go talk to Jojo in the morning about the record player." yawned Crutchie. Jack stared up at the stars. They both surrendered to sleep after the long day of work. Jack woke up in the morning to the sunrise. He crawled out of his bed and pulled on his blue shirt. He put on his cap and pulled a drawing out from under his pillow. He began to keep working on the drawing quietly. Crutchie woke and yawned, Jack watched as Crutchie got ready until he needed help to get the ladder. Jack grabbed his hand and Crutchie swung his legs through the opening and turned around putting his good leg on the ladder and began the climb down. Jack followed him down the ladder and onto the ground. They began the long walk to Newsies Square. They finally made it to Newsies Square where Katherine came to greet him. They both hugged, and before Jack could get a word out about there date, Katherine started to yell about Race needing help with something. She pushed him in Race's direction. Katherine turned to Crutchie,
"I need a favor for my date tonight." Crutchie nodded and asked,
"What can I do to help?" Katherine proceeded to explain, "Jack said he likes to watch the stars, so I thought we could go to the "penthouse" for a picnic and to watch the stars. I can even bring a little extra food for all the newsies. I know the food is hard to come by." Crutchie then asked,
"So what can I do to help?" Katherine sheepishly asked,
"Could you maybe find somewhere else to stay for a while so Jack and I could use the penthouse to watch the stars?"
"Of course I can, I'll ask Race if I can hang out with him and Specs tonight," replied Crutchie. Katherine breathed a sigh of relief,
"Thank you so much, Crutchie!" Crutchie nodded with a smile,
"Now go and find Jack, soon enough he'll figure that Race doesn't need help."
"Oh Crutchie, I've been here long enough that Race will think of something." Crutchie laughed,
"You picked up real quick about how things work around here!"
"Yeah I did!" laughed Katherine. She walked away from Crutchie feeling so excited for her date that night. It was going to be perfect. Jack walked over towards Race who talking with some of the other newsies. Jack walked up and said,
"Race, Katherine said you needed help so what is it?" Race looked up at Jack processing what he had just been told. He fumbled over his words.
"Uh… well…" Race frantically looked around for something for Jack to help with and grabbed Jojo by the arm and pulled him over.
"Well ya' see Jojo needs to know what a word means." Race nudged Jojo and he started to play along.
"Well Davey taught me this word yesterday and I'm not quite sure what it means."
"I can try to help, but this would be a better Davey question," muttered Jack.
"The word is valuable." Jojo stumbled over the pronunciation, and Jack got a confused look on his face.
"I think it means that it's worth something, kinda like money. Money is valuable, but you'll have to check with Davey. He's had more schooling than me." Jojo nodded and thanked him. Wiesel's voice rang out above the noise of all newsies telling them they needed to come and get their papers. Jack slammed down his coins and picked up his papers and met Crutchie at the gate of the World. The two of them walked out to sell their papers. Jack said,
"Katherine was sure acting weird, she never just shoves me off."
"Well what did Race need?" asked Crutchie. Jack said,
"It wasn't Race who needed something it was Jojo. He's been hanging around Davey a lot, and is learning a lot of new words." Crutchie nodded,
"Yeah Davey has been teaching us all a lot of things, especially Jojo, he's really eager to learn." Jack nodded thinking about all that Davey had taught all the newsies. Then Crutchie and Jack had to part ways, Jack continued to his usual spot where he hawked the papers. His strategy was "stretching the truth" he yelled fake headlines selling the papes for a nickel each. After he had finished selling all of his papers he wandered around to everyone else's spots until every newsie had made it back. He asked Specs if he would wait around for Race, who sold papers in Brooklyn.
Specs agreed and Jack wandered out of the gate to find an excited Katherine waiting for him. He grabbed her hand and led her into newsies square where he found an old record player with a note on it from Crutchie. Jojo was excited to hear you had a date and was happy to help. Hopefully, she likes the song. Try not to step on her toes! Your brother, Crutchie. Jack smiled at the kindness of all his brothers. He set up the record and put in the record. The song "She's the Belle of New York" filled the air. He grabbed Katherine's hand and led her to the middle of the square. They began to dance to the sweet melody. Katherine laugh at his crazy dancing, and he smiled and he watched as she spun around the square. He grabbed her hand and they danced until their feet hurt. After a while, they both collapsed onto the cobblestone both breathing heavily. The song continued to play sweetly in the background. Katherine leaned her head on Jack's shoulder, he then rested his head on top of hers. They both just sat there and listened to music. Katherine whispered almost to quietly to hear,
"That was perfect, perfectly amazing. Thank you." Jack nodded his head. They both sat in silence for a few moments, until Katherine hopped to her feet. Jack looked up to her reaching out a hand to help him up. Jack grabbed her hand and climbed to his feet. They walked out of the square hand in hand. They talked as they continued along the street. They learned more and more about each other with each passing moment. Katherine finally said,
"The dancing in the square was so amazing, I feel kinda embarrassed about my half of the date." Jack looked at her while her eyes stayed fixated on the ground. Jack whispered,
"I'm sure whatever you have planned will surely be better than my half. To be honest, Crutchie had to help me to plan something that good. You can thank him and not me." Katherine looked up at him and laughed.
"Funny thing is I had to have help from Crutchie too!" Jack looked at her surprised, he then laughed and said,
"Well, I guess we can't have a date without my little brother!" Katherine looked to up at him with surprise.
"I didn't know Crutchie was your little brother." Jack laughed,
"Well in we aren't actually related, but we may as well be. I've known him since I was ten. He came to us through Specs when he was nine. He joined the Newsies and we have been together ever since." Katherine smiled,
"Guess I should have known, you guys are inseparable!" Jack looked down the street and smiled. Finally, they made it to the penthouse. Jack looked up to see that Crutchie wasn't there. He started to panic, Katherine seeing him start to shake said,
"It's ok, that's how he helped. He agreed to stay with Specs and Race tonight. So we could have our date." Jack breathed out in relief knowing his little brother was ok. He smiled after Katherine saying,
"After you, my lady." He stooped into a low bow before Katherine motioning to the ladder. Katherine curtsied,
"Thank you, good sir!" She giggled as she climbed up the ladder and Jack followed up after her. He came to the top and saw there was a basket of food. There were apples, ham, potatoes, and bread. Jack stared in awe his mouth starting to water, he immediately felt guilty because he knew that a lot of his brothers would go without. Katherine saw his face start to scrunch in guilt. She smiled at the thought of his immense care he felt for all the Newsies. She said,
"Don't worry I brought enough to the square this morning we can distribute the food tomorrow to all the boys. I thought we could eat and watch the stars." Jack smiled and stared at the sky. He sat down next to Katherine's eyes fixed on the stars. Katherine looked up to the stars, Jack broke his gaze from the stars and looked over to Katherine who was staring at the stars her mouth was slightly opened in amazement. Jack asked her,
"Have you ever seen the stars?"
"No, I've never been high enough to see them," she mumbled,
"They sure are pretty though…" Jack continued to watch her, and he said,
"They sure are." Eventually, Katherine said,
"Well I have loved every second of our time together, but I have to go now." Jack feeling sad that their time together was over, but he smiled at the idea that she would be there to greet him in the morning. He followed her down the ladder. She turned around to leave, but then turned around and ran to him. She kissed him right there underneath the stars. Jack smiled as her lips left hers. Katherine sheepishly grinned, and Jack beamed back at her.
"Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow morning?"
"I'll be there waiting for you just as usual," answered Katherine. Jack beamed as she walked away. He climbed up into the penthouse and looked up at the stars, but he realized that they would never match the beauty of the star he had in his life.