Newsies Fan Fiction—Romance For Race

"C'mon, c'mon, c'mon!" Racetrack Higgins yelled across the fence at Sheepshead Stadium to the Shetland horse who he was hoping would win since he had betted 2 dollars that he didn't have on the horse.

"C'mon #3 you can do it!!" he heard a girl saying from a few feet away.

He glanced over at her, she looked about a year younger than him with light brown hair, tan skin, and gray eyes and she looked around 5'2-the exact height as Racetrack.

The Italian looked back at the race just to see horse #3 be the first one to cross the finish line and his horse come in second place only a few inches behind it. "Crap," he said under his breath.

"Cough up the 2 dollars, Higgins," he heard the guy he had made the bet with saying from behind him.

Racetrack turned around to face him, "I don't have two dollars," he said looking at his shoes.

The guy grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and slammed him into the railing of the fence. "You what?!" He exclaimed.

"Don't have two dollars," Racetrack said, wincing with the pain that was going through his back from being leaned onto a railing.

"I have two dollars," he heard a female voice say, he leaned his head up so he could see who it was, it was the girl who was cheering for horse #3.

She reached into her pocket and brought back out her hand with 2 American dollars.

The guy let go of Racetracks collar and snatched the two dollars out of the girls hand then he turned back to Racetrack, "You better have the money next time Higgins," He said then he pushed Racetrack up against the railing and took off out of the stadium.

The girl reached out and grabbed Racetracks' hand, helping him up.

"Uh, thanks," he said, not making eye contact with the girl.

"No problem," she said flipping some of her long light brown hair off of her shoulders. "I'm Racetrack," he said holding out his hand to her and meeting her gray eyes. "Rayann," She said shaking his hand.

"So uh, you from around here?" He asked.

"No, originally I'm from California, but I'm spending the summer here in New York City with my uncle," She said.

"Oh," He said shifting his feet from side to side.

"Congrats on your win, I should really start thinking more before I choose which horse I'm going to bet on," Racetrack said.

"Thanks," Rayann said with a smile.

"Hey Race! You coming?" he heard two of his friends, Jack and Mush call from outside of the stadium.

"Well I have to go, but thanks again, and it was really nice meeting you," Racetrack said with a wave.

"Likewise, see you around, and your welcome about the whole money thing," Rayann said waving back to him.

Racetrack smiled and then walked towards his friends wondering when he was going to see her again.

"So any luck at the races today?" Mush asked Racetrack as the three friends headed towards the Newsboys Lodging House.

"Nope," Racetrack said with a sigh.

"How much money did you lose this time?" Jack asked.

"None," Racetrack replied. Mush and Jack stopped walking and turned to face him, "What?" They asked in unison.

"Well I lost two dollars but a girl paid for me," Racetrack said thinking back to Rayann. "The girl that was standing with you?" Jack asked.

Racetrack nodded.

"She is very good looking and looks like she comes from money based on how she was dressed," Mush said referring back to Rayann's white blouse tailored at the waist and knee length pink flowered skirt.

"She might, she's from California," Racetrack said as they walked into the Lodging House.

"Hey Race, Jack, Mush," Their friend Kid Blink said brushing past them and then turning back around, "oh wait, one of you guys got to stop by Denton's and pick up a roll of film for a camera, Kloppman's going on a vacation,"

Jack backed away, "Can't, I'm hanging with Dave, Sarah, and Les at Medda's,"

"I've got a date," Mush said referring to a girl he met a couple weeks back.

"Well look who the lucky guy is," Jack said giving Racetrack a pat on the back.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Racetrack said and then went through the door to the Lodging House and wondered towards Denton's apartment.

Racetrack knocked on Denton's apartment door for a few times and then it swung open and he was facing Rayann.

"Hi Racetrack," She said giving him a genuine smile.

"Hi Rayann, what are you doing at Denton's?" Racetrack asked and then checked the number on the door to make sure he had the right house.

"Denton is my uncle," She said.

"Oh," Racetrack said.

"Who is it Ray?" Denton asked from the table sitting in the apartment.

"Racetrack," she called back. Racetrack heard footsteps then saw Denton approach the doorway.

"Hey Race, what can I do for you?" Denton asked.

"Kloppman is going on vacation and wanted to take pictures but he needs a roll of film," Racetrack said.

Denton nodded and then walked off into the apartment.

"So are you going to any of the races tomorrow?" Rayann asked him.

"I don't know probably but I pretty much did really lousy at this one," Racetrack said grabbing a cigar out of his coat pocket, lighting it with a match.

Rayann coughed at the smell and Racetrack took it out of his mouth for a minute, "I'm sorry, is it bothering you?" He asked apologetically.

"Just a little bit," She said back to him still coughing over the smell.

"Sorry," He said and then did something that would probably mark time in history, he dropped his 5 cent cigar and smashed it with his foot and then tossed it out the window by Denton's apartment.

"Here you go Race, if you need anything feel free to stop by," Denton said handing him a little envelope with film in it.

"Thanks, bye Rayann, later Denton," Racetrack said and then he closed the door behind him and walked downstairs.

"Skittery! Boots! Kelly! Racetrack! You newsies you sleep your life away!" Kloppman said bright and early the next morning.

Racetrack got up and looked around for his cigar.

He looked at the Snipeshooter in the bed next to him who normally stole his but he didn't have it either.

Then he remembered that the one he had brought to Denton's last night was the only one he had and right now it was probably stuck on someone's shoe or something like that. "You'll steal anudder," Snipeshooter said, used to hearing Racetracks daily "That's my cigar," and then he usually took the cigar out of Snipe's hand.

Just then Snipe noticed Racetrack hadn't said anything. Then he looked at his hand, noticing he wasn't holding a cigar and neither was Racetrack.

"No cigar, Race?" he asked him.

"Nope," Racetrack said with a dazed look across his face.

"Race, you'se a'ight?" Blink asked him walking towards Racetrack who was thinking about Rayann.

"I's t'ink he's sick," Snipeshooter said.

"Nah, his face would be all green or somtin," Jack said walking over to his friends who were hovering over Racetrack.

"I am sick, in a way," Racetrack said not even using his Italian-New York accent.

Mush's mouth dropped open, "Something's wrong wit Race! Call da ambulance!" he bellowed.

"He ain't sick, he's...he's...he's...what are ya exactly, Race?" Snipeshooter asked.

"I don't know," Racetrack started, starting to get up from his bunk bed, "but whatever it is, I like it,"

"Extra! Extra! Trolley strike is over!!" Racetrack hollered walking around outside with his papers.

"Are you insane?" Jack asked walking over to Race since he was making an effortless job selling the papers.

"Maybe," Racetrack said, still dazed.

"I's t'ink he just needs his cigar," Mush said coming up from behind Jack.

"Or he needs her," Jack said pointing to Rayann, who was walking over to the horse stadium.

"Hey Race, ya goils over thea'" Mush pointed over to Rayann.

Just then Racetracks eyes lit up and he hurried over to Rayann, she smiled as soon as she saw him and they walked into the Sheepshead Stadium talking, and Racetrack looked happier then he ever had.

Jack patted Mush on the back as they headed toward Tibbys, "I's t'ink our lil friend Racetrack is in love,"

"Yikes, I must just be lucked out all the time, huh Race?" Rayann joked with him since the two had betted on horses and hers had one.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, but just dis once, next time I'll be da winna'" Racetrack said as they walked out of the Sheepshead Stadium and headed down the street not quite sure where they were going.

"Keep dreaming, Race," Rayann said as they were approaching Tibbys, "just admit it, I'm a great guesser," Rayann said.

"Guesser, key word, guesser, dat means you ain't always like dat,"

"Good ta know dat Race has his accent back," Jack said from a table in Tibbys.

"Yeah, I was worried," Mush said laughing,

"Well Race, aren't ya gonna be a gentleman and introduce us ta dis beautiful lady?" Blink asked.

"Rayann, dese are my friends, Jack, Kid Blink, and Mush," Racetrack said pointing to his three friends sitting at a table.

Rayann waved to each of them and gave them a smile and then turned back to Racetrack, "I'm really sorry, but I have to go, Uncle Denton is expecting me back home, sorry. Bye guys, it was nice meeting you, bye Race," Rayann said waving and then turning and walking out of Tibbys.

"Uncle Denton?" Jack asked as Racetrack sat down at the table with 3 of his friends, "Yeah, her uncle is Denton," Racetrack said.

"Denton gets lotsa money, she definitely is rich then," Mush said taking a bite out of his hot dog.

"She don't usually live wid him Mush, she lives back at home in California, now if shes livin' in California, she is definitely rich," Jack said.

"Well is she?" Mush asked.

Racetrack nodded, "Her parents are lawyers or somethin'" Racetrack said, not exactly fully in on the conversation.

"Youse likes her dontcha?" Jack asked, catching on the Race wasn't paying very much attention.

Racetrack looked at them and then nodded, "Yeah...a lot,"

"Hey Racetrack!" Les Jacobs called to Racetrack, running over to him the next day waving his newspapers around.

Racetrack ruffled Les' hair as the now 10 year old approached.

"Hey Jacobs, how many have ya sold taday?" Racetrack asked him.

"In the past hour, about 7," Les said looking at the seven pennies he had clutched in his palm.

"Well better than none right?" Racetrack asked as they walked towards the Sheepshead Stadium.

"Yeah," Les said.

"Do you wanna come watch the races wid me today?" Racetrack asked.

Les nodded and they walked into the stadium and over to the bidding station.

"Pick one out," Racetrack said pointing to the horses names that were on a sheet of paper. "Number 2, Chet," Les said. Racetrack placed a bet of 1 dollar and they walked over to the fence.

"Hi Racetrack," a familiar voice said from behind him.

He turned around and faced Rayann who was standing there smiling at him.

Racetrack's face lit up, "Hi Ray," He said smiling.

Les looked at them for a minute and then rolled his eyes glumly and then turned back around to the race.

"So uh, me and some of my friends is going to Medda's tonight, if ya wanna go wid us id be ok," Racetrack said to her.

"Sure, I'd love to go, umm, where is it exactly?" Rayann asked.

"Oh...I'll uh, I'll pick you up, tonight around 6...that's when hers show is startin," Racetrack said still smiling.

"Okay great, I'll see you tonight then, bye," Rayann said, and with a little wave, she was out of Sheepshead Stadium to get ready.

"Racetrack! You missed the race!" Les bellowed.

"Oh, okay," Racetrack said not in on the conversation-again.

"Well you won a dollar," Les said.

"Oh, okay," Racetrack repeated.

"Bye," Les said waving to Racetrack and heading back to his selling spot to try to sell a few more papers.

Racetrack finally snapped out of it, "Les??"

Later on that night, Racetrack was heading over to Denton's apartment.

The August night's air was all around him and the sun was just setting.

I wonder why I hadn't seen her until now, I mean she's gonna hafta go home sometime soon, He thought to himself.

He approached the apartment and knocked on the door, when it opened he saw Rayann standing there.

She looked gorgeous, her honey brown hair was pulled into a bun with curled tendrils spilling out, and she was wearing a sleeveless periwinkle blue dress, with the skirt flowing.

"Umm...hi, Rayann," Racetrack said smiling.

"Hey Racetrack, I'll be back later, Uncle Denton!" Rayann called and then slipped the door shut behind her as she followed Racetrack over to Medda's.

"So does she sing, or dance, or what?" Rayann asked slipping the periwinkle blue shawl she had with her around her shoulders.

"All of the above," Racetrack said with a laugh.

Rayann giggled as they saw a lot of Newsies crowded around outside Irving Hall.

"What are they doing?" Rayann asked.

"Theys ares getting ready to open da doors," Racetrack told her.

Rayann nodded.

The doors to Meddas opened and the Newsies all erupted inside.

"Hello Newsies! What's new?" Medda asked the newsies from the stage.

The newsies all clapped and cheered.

Medda sang her songs and the Newsies joined in, before they knew it the fantastic show was over and the newsies began to exit Irving Hall.

"So, what did ya t'ink?" Racetrack asked Rayann as the two walked outside and back on to the streets of New York City.

"It was amazing! She has an amazing singing voice," Rayann said, excitedly.

"Yeah, Medda's like an aunt ta all of us newsies," Racetrack told her as they neared Denton's apartment.

"That's sweet," Rayann told him.

Racetrack nodded in agreement as they walked up the stairs to Denton's floor of the apartment.

When they got there they stopped by the door. "Racetrack, today I had some of the most fun I have ever had," Rayann said, she gave him a kiss on the cheek and then waved goodbye and slipped through the door to her apartment.

Racetrack smiled to himself and touched his cheek lightly, then walked back to the lodging house, smiling the whole way.

"Uncle Denton, I'm home!" Rayann told him. Denton was sitting on a chair at the table.

"Ray, can you come here for a second please?" Denton asked her.

"Sure," Rayann said and took a seat in the chair next to him.

"Ray, I got a letter from your parents earlier today, they said you need to go home on the twentieth," Denton told her.

Rayann glanced at the calendar hanging up on a wall in the kitchen, "Tomorrows the twentieth," She said to him.

"I know, they already sent me the train ticket for you. You have to leave tomorrow around 3 o'clock," Denton told her.

"I can't go now! What about Racetrack!?" Rayann said, about to burst into tears.

"I'm sorry sweetie," Denton said placing a hand on her shoulder.

"I hate my parents!" Rayann said and then ran into her bedroom. She flopped onto her bed and cried.

The next morning, Kloppman's replacement woke the Newsies up since Kloppman was on vacation.

The newsies all groaned, but got out of bed and stumbled into the washroom.

Racetrack was one of the first ones in and out of the washroom.

He couldn't wait to see Rayann again.

"Race, what's the rush?" Mush asked running up behind him as Racetrack began to leave the lodging house and head off to buy his papers.

"No reason really, just felt like gettin' an eoily stawt dis mornin'," Racetrack said.

Mush looked at him in disbelief, "Uh huh, you just wanted to see ya goilfriend," Mush said.

"No, Rayann isn't my goilfriend," Racetrack said.

"Fifty papes," he told Weasel.

"So Racetrack, any hot tips taday?" Weasel asked him.

"Nah, I'm gonna wing it taday, I get what I get," Racetrack said.

"Fifty papes!" Weasel yelled to Morris.

Morris slipped the papers to Racetrack and Racetrack slipped him back the bits. Then Racetrack headed to Sheepshead Stadium.

"Heya Rayann," Racetrack said when he spotted Rayann leaning against the railing.

She looked over and met his eyes, "Hey Race," She said.

"Have ya been cryin'?" He asked when he noticed her tear stained cheeks.

"Yeah," Rayann told him glumly.

"Why, whas wrong?" He asked her, concerned.

Rayann wiped her eyes and then turned to face Racetrack, "Denton got a letter from my parents yesterday. I have to go home today at three," Rayann told him.

Racetracks face grew pale, his dark eyes deepened, and his mouth dropped open.

"I'm really sorry Racetrack. I tried to get Denton to make them let me stay but they want me home," Rayann told him.

"I knew somethin' like this was gonna happen. I just knew it!" Racetrack said, about to cry.

"Race, I'm sorry," Rayann said about to cry all over again.

"Yeah, me too, bye Rayann," Racetrack said, not wanting to meet Rayann's grey eyes. He turned around and walked away without a look back..

"Racetrack!" he heard Rayann calling after him, he ignored her and left Sheepshead Stadium.

"I'm going to miss you Ray, just be sure to keep in touch," Denton told Rayann.

Rayann gave Denton a hug, "I will Uncle Denton, I promise, I'll miss you too, bye," Rayann said and then waved at him and got onto her train.

The train was going to part for about two more minutes, Denton waved at her and then walked away because he had to get back to work.

She glanced out the window and saw Mush, Kid Blink, Jack, and Racetrack walking down the street.

Mush glanced over and saw Rayann, he tapped Racetrack on the shoulder and pointed, Racetrack glanced over and when he saw Rayann, Rayann saw tears forming in his eyes and he turned away.

Jack and Mush glanced at Rayann and shrugged.

Just then the train pulled away and Rayann was gone.

"Racetrack, why didn't you wave to Rayann? Are ya mad at her or somethin'?" Jack asked her.

"Or somethin'," Racetrack told him.

"What 'appened?" Kid Blink asked.

"She's leavin', I got stubborn and wouldn't tawk ta her," Racetrack told them.

"Ya gonna regret it Race," Mush told him.

"Why would I?" Racetrack asked.

Mush looked him square in the eyes, "Because youse in love wid her,"

"Ray!" Rayann's best friend, Cammie, greeted her as Rayann got off the train.

Rayann gave her a hug and the two friends smiled at each other and then examined how much they had changed over the summer.

"So did you meet anyone?" Cammie asked her as they headed out to the carriage

. "Yeah, his name is Racetrack. But he's mad at me right now for leaving," Rayann told her.

"Racetrack? That sounds like a newsboy name," Cammie told her as they rode off to Rayann's house.

"It is, Racetrack is a newsie," Rayann said.

"Yeah, did you hear about the Newsie strike that happened last summer?" Cammie asked her as they approached the house.

"Yeah, Uncle Denton told me about it, so did Racetrack," Rayann told her.

"So were you two friends or more?" Cammie asked.

"We were kind of in-between. But right now I think we're nowhere," Rayann said as they got out of the carriage.

"Are you in love with him?" Cammie asked.

"Why would I be?" Rayann asked suspiciously.

"Because every time you say his name you blush, I think you might be in love with him," Cammie told her.

Rayann thought it over for a minute and then turned back to her friend, "Oh my God. I think I am,"

"Youse t'ink I'se in love wid her?!" Racetrack exclaimed as they walked back to the lodging house.

All three of the boys nodded.

"I'se doubtin' dat youse guys, I barely even know ha," Racetrack told them.

"Yeah, but for da past 4 days, all ya eva do is talk 'bout her, when ya not tawkin' 'bout her, youse t'inkin bout her, and when youse nots t'inkin about her, youse dreamin' 'bout her, and when youse not dreamin' 'bout her, youse wid her," Kid Blink told him.

"That don't prove nuttin," Racetrack told them.

Kid Blink, Mush, Jack, and every other newsies in the room looked at him and said in unison, "Yes it does!"

"Just admit it Race," Jack told him.

"Okay maybe I am," Racetrack told them.

The newsies just stared at him, "Okay, I am," he said and then flopped down on his bed, "and I blew it! She hates me!"

"Ya don't knows dat Race," Jack said.

Racetrack looked at him, "Yes I do!"

A few months went by, almost all Rayann and Racetrack thought about was each other.

Both hoping the other wasn't mad at them and hoping that they would end up together again.

"I can't take it any moa! I hafta see ha!" Racetrack said one morning.

"She lives in California Race, how are ya gonna get ta California?" Snipeshooter asked him.

"I don' know, but I hafta see ha! I miss ha real bad!" Racetrack said.

"Well I hoid Denton was headin' to California, maybe if ya beg him enough, he'll take ya wid him," Jack told him.

"Smart t'inkin' Jack! Why dontcha go an' ask him Race?" Mush asked.

"I'm gonna," Racetrack said and ran out of the lodging house.

He got to Denton's apartment and banged on his door repeatedly.

Denton opened the door, "Racetrack, for God's sake what's wrong?"

"Do ya...have a...extra...ticket...ta...California?" Racetrack panted, he was out of breath from running almost all the way across Manhattan to get to Denton's apartment. "Yes, but I was bringing my fiancée with me, why?" Denton asked him.

"I need da ticket!" Racetrack blurted out.

"Once again, why?" Denton asked.

"I hafta see Ray!" Racetrack exclaimed.

"This means a lot to you doesn't it?" Denton remarked.

"More than anything eva! Ise in love wid ha," Racetrack told him.

Denton reached into the pocket of his slacks and pulled out a train ticket. "I'm sure Natalie will be okay with this. The train leaves tomorrow at 1:30," Denton told him and handed him the ticket.

"Thanks Denton!" Racetrack exclaimed with a smile and then ran all the way back to the lodging house.

"Which shade of the blue looks better? The sky blue or the midnight blue?" Rayann asked Cammie as they began to paint on their canvases.

" blue, it brings our more brightness," Cammie said with a smile and then turned back to her painting.

"Uncle Denton is coming to town today, he should be here any minute now," Rayann told her.

"That's neat; you haven't seen him since summer right?" Cammie asked.

"Yep," Rayann said and started to paint.

Just then they heard the front door opened and they heard two sets of feet on the floor. "It must be Denton and our butler," Rayann told her.

"Well I'll be right back. I want to meet him," Cammie said and left the room.

Rayann just rolled her eyes and continued with her painting.

Cammie exited the parlor where she and Rayann were painting and walked into the foyer. "Hi, I'm Rayann's best friend Cammie, you must be her Uncle Denton," She said smiling to Denton.

Denton smiled and waved back at her. But then someone caught her eye, it wasn't Rayann's butler; it was a New York Newsie!

"Hi?" Cammie said suspiciously.

"Hi," The newsie said.

"Cammie, this is Racetrack Higgins," Denton said.

Cammie's eyes widened, "You're Racetrack?" Cammie asked quietly.

Racetrack nodded.

Cammie shrieked, "Oh my God! Rayann talks about you all the time!" Cammie said excitedly.

Racetrack blushed.

"Who do I talk about all the time?" Rayann said walking into the foyer.

She looked over and her mouth dropped open.

"Racetrack!" she said excitedly.

She ran over to him and gave him the biggest hug she had ever given anybody.

When they broke apart Rayann looked at him and smiled, "What are you doing here?" she asked still excited that he was there.

"I had to see ya. I hafta tell ya somethin," Racetrack told her.

"What?" Rayann asked.

"I love ya Rayann," Racetrack said to her.

Rayann could feel her lips turning into a smile, "I love you too Race," she said quietly. He stared into her eyes deeply and brushed his lips against hers.

Rayann kissed him back, about one minute later they broke apart and gave each other a hug.

Cammie smiled and flipped a strand of her long wavy dark red hair behind her ear, "That is so romantic!"

Rayann promised Racetrack that as soon as she finished school she would move to Manhattan. They visited each other over Christmas and summer holidays. One time when Rayann and Cammie went to New York, Cammie met Mush and refused to go back to California, they were in love. As soon as Rayann finished school she moved to Manhattan to be with Race. Eventually the two got married and Rayann gave birth to twin girls named Kimberly and Christina. Rayann and Racetrack had the strongest love ever and it never went away.