Kaleidoscope

A/N: Okay. Sue me. I don't own Newsies. None of us do, so whatever. I don't know what really put me in a Christmassy mood tonight. I finally broke my writer's block though, and slap-happy, I puked up a Christmas One-Shot. I really didn't get anyone to Beta it... as no one was online, and I felt the need to publish it before I went to sleep. Fluffy Goodness with a suck-ass title. Oh well.


And we're hungry and frozen... some life that we've chosen. -RENT


Snitch shudders as the wind flows right through his threadbare jacket. The sleeves and torso are too short and it won't even button up in the front. He searches for an alley to duck into for the night. His pockets are empty except for a dime and some lint.

Snitch always loathed December. He hated watching happy families walk down the street in brand new coats and jingling pockets, singing carols and spreading "good cheer".

Especially when he couldn't even afford to spend the night in the lodging house, as he'd spent all his money on a gift.

Why? He didn't know. Halfway through his selling, he had fifty cents already, and he stopped to look in a window at the trinkets and things the shopkeeper had set out for Christmas shoppers.

His eye had been caught by a brass tube with a marble on the end. Next to it sat a sign that said "40 cents". When he walked into the store, many of the customers stared and then went about their shopping. Some shook their heads, but Snitch strolled up to the shopkeeper and bought the damned thing.

And now it was clutched in his right hand, the metal becoming colder every moment.

When you looked into it with light, it made colors dance.

It was the kind of thing that Skittery would like.

And in fact, although Snitch hated Christmas and everything that went with it with such passion, his best friend Skittery was a different story. He absolutely adored it. No matter how hungry he was on Christmas without a paper to sell, no matter how many times he looked in the window at something he couldn't have, he still managed to find something good about the holiday, and to spread as much cheer as he could.

Snitch actually believed that it was the only time of year Skittery was actually cheerful. In fact, most of the year, they were completely switched. Skittery was the moody one, and Snitch had to cheer him up.

Not at Christmas though.

Snitch finds empty alley outside David's apartment to sleep. He thinks about going up and asking to stay, but David's parents don't know him, and it is highly unlikely they have any extra room with the new Jacobs that had just arrived.

Not that David's family celebrated Christmas.

He squeezes his body between a two crates and takes his jacket off his back, throwing it over his front and curling his hands up underneath it. He carefully places the brass tube next to him, but under his jacket so no one would see it. He drifts off into a fitful sleep, dreaming about the brass tube and Skittery throwing it to the ground, laughing.

Someone taps him awake.

"Snitch, where were you?"

It is Skittery. His hair is flecked with snow, and he has David's scarf on. David stands behind him, along with his father.

"We were so worried," His best friend leans down and envelopes Snitch in his arms, "Why didn't you come back home tonight?"

"His face is pale," Mr. Jacobs mutters to David, "Wake your mother; tell her to put some water on to boil."

David nods curtly and runs up the fire escape.

Skittery runs his hand down the side of Snitch's face, and pushes his forehead against his best friend's.

Snitch is too cold to notice, and doesn't mind body warmth in any form of affection. David's father turns out of the alleyway to meet his son.

Skittery's fingers wrap around Snitch's and it feels just right.

Picking up the kaleidoscope, Snitch hands it to his friend.

"Merry Christmas," he says, closing his eyes, resting his head against the wall wear he sits.

"You too, Snitch," Skittery's voice is soft and very close, and softly, nervous and chapped, Skittery's lips press against Snitch's.

He smiles, and rubs his thumb on Skittery's hand.

The cold doesn't sting so much anymore.