AN: Exciting ending ahead! Just read and review and enjoy the outcome!

                                                                                                                                                           

Dutchy

            I was nervous. Well, who wouldn't be in that situation? Blink was practically handing himself over to these guys with a big red bow wrapped around him. Sure, Jack had borrowed a few slingshots from Spot's boys, and we knew how to use them, but what if they started shooting with real guns?

            At least Skittery had survived the night. Kloppman had been so worried that he had stayed awake by Skitts bedside the whole night, and it paid off. He still had a fever, but his condition was now going slowly uphill instead of downhill.

            I loaded my slingshot and got ready. I was on the roof of an old warehouse, ready to shoot anyone who came into 'Blink's' alley. I knew it wouldn't take them long to find him.

            After twenty minutes of waiting with Blink selling papers with his back to the alley, I was wondering if they were going to take the bait. The plan was that they would see their opportunity and drag him into the alley from behind. But so far, they hadn't shown their faces once.

            A hand clamped over my mouth from behind, and I kicked and struggled as hard as I could as I was dragged backward into the stairwell. I suddenly realized our mistake- in guarding Blink, we had split up.

            And no one would have a chance to notice that one guard was missing.

            My strong assailant dragged me downstairs into a dark room, where another man was waiting.

            "Thought you could outsmart us, right?" he asked, a chain wrapped around one of his hands. I didn't respond; I saw no reason to. He obviously didn't like my silence, because he punched me in the jaw, slamming me to the floor. "You kids have no brains. And when we're done with you, you'll be praying that you never see the light of day again."

            That was it. I was done with this shit. I leaped to my feet and attacked him, taking the first opportunity I saw and kneeing him in the groin. He doubled over, and I knew that the other one would be coming at me from behind.

            So, I ducked.

            It was almost like a cartoon. He had actually tried to tackle me in a flying leap, and ended up sailing right over my head and landing right on his partner. As they were trying to recover and detangle themselves from each other, I took off running and didn't look back. I took the same alley that we expected them to take, yelling to all the others on the roofs surrounding the alley to run. Then I grabbed Blink by the arm and dragged him away from the alley.

            I explained the whole thing to everyone when we got back to the lodging house, and ended up getting a lot of congratulations and slaps on the back. I sure didn't feel like a hero. All I did was run, and that was something that sure never got commended anytime else. I was a coward.

            "They saw our trap. They saw what we were going to do, and they trapped us." I said, still angry at myself for not seeing it sooner. But I didn't get the words out for more than a moment before Specs rushed in, carrying a battered and bruised Itey in his arms. They had decided to sell today since they didn't have a part to play in our plan.

            "Is he okay?" Jack asked, gently helping Specs lay him down on the bed. Then they noticed the bruise on the side of Specs' face. "Did they get both of you?"

            "They attacked Itey, but they weren't discreet enough. I followed them and tried to fight 'em off. He's not hurt bad…they took off when they figured two of us were a little much."

            Jack laughed. "That's two times in one day. Dutchy here fought 'em off all by himself."

            "Really? Looks like they aren't invulnerable."

            "Invul…what?" Blink asked, scratching his head. The rest of us just laughed.

            "They have a weakness, Blink. They ain't gods." Racetrack said.

            "I think I know why they aren't going after Jack." I said, the possibility suddenly popping into my head.

            "Why's that?" Jack asked, raising an eyebrow.

            "You were our leader. And they want to make sure you have to watch all of us suffer before they come after you."

            "You're always…full of shit…like dat…Dutchy…"

            We all looked at Skittery's bunk in shock as his eyes slowly fluttered open, and then all of us shot for the bed at once, all of us amazed that he was already awake.

            "Hey, how ya feelin', Skitts?" Race asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.

            "Like hell. Like…one of your…race horses jest ran ovah me."

            "Well, you'll be happy ta know that Dutchy and Specs beat up on those guys pretty bad today. They ain't getting' away with this without battle scars."

            "I'd like ta give 'em a few myself…"

            Yep. Skittery was gonna be just fine. No doubt about it.

Kid Blink

            We knew the plan would work this time. It had to. We couldn't have any more newsies getting attacked like this. And once again, I was bait.

            Did you expect anyone else?

            I walked down the street with Jack, hawkin' headlines at the top of my lungs and looking over my shoulder every so often. No sign of them.

            Good.

            "Jack, I think I'm gonna go sell across da street. Hawk to da ladies a bit." I said, and he gave me a reluctant look, but then shrugged and told me to 'keep an eye out'. Haha, Jack. Very funny.

            It happened just like we thought. As I passed the alley on the other side, someone grabbed my arm and pulled me into the alley. I started to scream but a dirty, grimy hand locked itself over my mouth. I resorted to kicking and punching, but I never got a clear shot at him.

            "In here, in here!" I heard the other guy insist, and I gave a silent cry of victory as they pulled me into the darkened building and shoved me to the floor.

            "Say your last prayers, kid, cause I'm not so sure we're gonna give you the privilege of walking out of here alive." He said as he raised the knife in preparation to stab me.

            He froze dead when the door slammed shut, seemingly of its own accord. Then the lights snapped on, and no one was even near the chain, which was now swinging back and forth wildly. I stood up slowly, and both of them stared me down.

            "You might not want to make me mad, boys. I don't play fair." I hissed as the light flickered on and off. Then the lights went out completely and the window shades dropped, leaving the room in pitch darkness.

            I could hear their terrified screams, and I couldn't help but laugh as I listened to the scuffle. I knew that they were getting beaten up pretty good just by listening to the various curses and grunts.

            "Where is he? Where did he go?"

            "It's a demon! He's possessed, man!" One of them yelled, and then the lights came back on. Nobody was in the room now but me and the two men, who were now suffering from lots of cuts and bruises. They were staring at me now not with anger, but with fear and shock.

            "I'm getting out of here!" the bigger one yelled, sprinting for the door- but it wouldn't budge. The other man helped him pull, but that door wasn't going anywhere.

            "I didn't hear you say please." I whispered in a teasing, breathy tone.

            "Please! Let us out, man! Come on!"

            I stepped forward, putting my hand on the door handle. "If you ever step foot near another newsie- ever…" The lights flickered. On, off. On, off. Then they stayed on. "I'll personally make your lives a living hell. And I am always watching. Don't you forget that."

            With that said, I gently tugged on the door, and it opened with ease. They stumbled out the door and headed straight for the street as fast as they could, never looking back once.

            "It's clear, guys." I said, and the trapdoors in the floor and walls opened up and Specs, Dutchy, Snipeshooter, Crutchy, Snoddy, and Snitch all climbed out.

            "Ah, the usefulness of clear thread." Snoddy said, rolling his thread back onto the reel.

            "I'll be surprised if they even stay in New York after all that. You even scared me, Kid!" Crutchy said, and we all laughed.

            We walked back to the lodging house and told Mush, Itey, and Skittery what had happened, and they were quite amused. Even Kloppman laughed when we told him what we'd done.

            It was enough for me that I'd had them pleading for their lives. Ah, sweet revenge.

            Take that, Pulitzer.

The End

                                                                                                                                                           

AN: I'm really proud of this chapter, especially the part where Dutchy kicks some butt on those creeps and Blink scares them to death! And you know, I like the idea of Blink being presented to me wearing a big red bow. Yummy. Anyways……..please review, people! Thank you for reading, and I luv you guys!