Alright, it's time for my holiday one-shot (I'm sure you're oh-so-excited)! Here it is, at last, at 11.00 PM Christmas Eve. Horror of horrors, this actually turned out to be modern day! What was I thinking?! And give me a break on the locations of stuff, it's been a long time since I was in New York. But I imagine Christmas there is just the most beautiful thing in the world ((dreamy sigh)), and this is my effort to bring it to my computer (which we all know is impossible). Reviews still appreciated! Oh, yeah, and if I owned the newsies, I would not have time to write this …

Christmas Eve

(All the World)

He caught the bus across the city to see the rich homes decorated in lights. It was Christmas Eve, and the overwhelming feeling of sorrow and loneliness seemed to drown him in its own inevitable black void.

The white lights strung on the trees lining the bustling avenue reflected prettily off the snow on the ground in Central Park. Cars sped past, never stopping, never giving a thought to the lonely boy who walked so slowly by, hands deep in his warm pockets. His coat was zipped up to his chin as he struggled to defeat the cutting wind which blew straight to the center of his bones. His black leather protected him slightly, at least, and his hat retained enough heat to keep him from falling, frozen solid, to the ground.

"Sure's pretty at this time of year," he muttered to himself, eyes turned upwards as he watched the blinking lights in a penthouse apartment. He was reminded of all the things he did not have, but it was okay because he had good friends and he had his loving mother and he had someone else, too, although that someone else was not aware of it just yet. Then the carriage horse clopped past and he smiled, his thoughts tugging at the strings of his heart.

Through the windows of the apartments he could see grand Christmas trees, lights, pictures, families. Little children dress in pajamas paraded sleepily down the stairs, ready for the Christmas story that would send them off into a deep, dreaming sleep. He smiled as he watched the mothers and fathers of the young ones pick them up and kiss them lovingly, perhaps never once realising their good fortune in their homes and families. There was a little jealousy in his heart, but not too much because he deeply loved his mother and they were happy in their small, neutral-side-of-Manhattan apartment. What more could he ask for?

He walked along the sidewalks and before he knew it, St. Patrick's Cathedral loomed before him, its protecting, gray stone walls dominating his sight. Now, he was not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, or at least not a good Christian, but he knew St. Patrick's Cathedral and he loved it, too. Taking the opportunity to simply stand and listen, he heard singing from inside, a great swell of sound. It was beautiful, and such a comfort to a heart so troubled as his.

"Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright …"

It began to snow again, blanketing the whole world in white. Snow gave New York City such a feeling of calm, a visual hush that brought wonder to the hearts of the tall and the small alike. His breath caught in his throat and his listened for an instant more to the singing. The decorations of the city made it look big and bright but he was still half-agonised, the feeling of bittersweet desire strong in his heart. A love for the holidays, that's what he wanted more than anything else. And not just a love, but someone very specific … someone already very close to him …

Then he was on to Rockefeller Center to see the giant tree and to watch the people skating. He would have skated, too, but it was no fun to do it alone and his pockets were empty of cash. Besides, he was not sure he even remembered how to skate, and he felt no inclination to be rendered the stupidest kid in the rink on Christmas Eve (or at any other time, to be honest). He enjoyed being alone, watching the diverse population of the city in the best place in all the world. See, he wasn't completely unlucky, was he?

There was a hand on his shoulder. He turned.

"Skittery! What are you doin' here?" he exclaimed. The sight of one so beautiful always seemed to take away his power of speech. Even after countless years of friendship, Skittery still made him feel half terrified yet half blissfully excited.

"I'm just out walking. You know, seeing all the decorations and stuff. What are you doing here, Snitch?"

Snitch smiled. "Watching everyone skate, since I can't go down there and storm the ice myself."

A moment of easy laughter. Skittery's face was flushed with high color and he looked more beautiful than ever to his friend.

"This ain't a night to be alone," Skittery said. "Mind if I stay with you a while, and we can talk?"

"Sure." Snitch moved over, though there was plenty of room for his friend. His heart fluttered. "Isn't this beautiful?"

"Sure is. Nothing else like it anywhere." Skittery surveyed the ring. "Say, Snitch, can I ask you a question?"

"Anything, Skitts." His heart was pounding, his mouth was dry.

"We've been friends a long time, right?"

"Forever." Snitch answered. His eyes were huge and expecting.

Skittery suddenly avoided Snitch's eyes. "And we're closer to each other than to anybody else in the world, right?"

Driving down his fear, Snitch reached over and put a warm hand in Skittery's. All the world suddenly seemed right.

"Merry Christmas, Skittery," he answered simply. There was the most comfortable of silences as they understood all that went beautifully unspoken, watching the skaters, hand in hand, with soft white falling all around them.