Routine

Because I may just be the only

Jack-Sarah shipper left.

Sometimes it feels like there's never enough time. There is always too much and too little – too much to do and too little space to do it in. They had newspapers to sell – more than they could hold in one hand, and only a few hours before the afternoon paper shelled out and they had to start over.

And she?

She waits for him, listening to the noise below even as her fingers bleed from the sewing. It's not much, but it's a living. She strains her ears, and even from so far away she can hear it – his call. She knows it because they'd made it together, so that she would always know where he was.

Ahead of the Headlines! Extra, extra, read all about it!

His voice makes her smile – it's scratchy as always because he's never quite gotten it back from all the screaming. There's laughter there, even when there shouldn't be. He's always finding something to be happy about; something to laugh at; good news to declare.

It's what she loves most about him.

The other girls complain about the boys they've attached themselves to. "I swear, he loves his damn city more than he loves me," the girl beside her whines, dipping her needle into the cloth. "Honestly, if the whole world were drowning and he could save me or keep Brooklyn dry, that twice-damned Spot Conlon would save his apartment!"

Sarah smiles indulgently. "I'm sure that's not true," she offers placatingly, although her mind flits through the crowded street and towards his voice.

"He's probably like Racetrack – not too open about his emotions. You know how men are. Hand 'em a baseball bat and they're ready to go. But put a woman in their arms … "

She feels herself blush, knowing how wrong they are – at least about Jack. She hears him getting closer and can feel his shift ending. Almost 2:30. Almost lunchtime.

When she can't hear him anymore she knows it's time to stop. He's stopped trying to sell and now he's stopping beneath her window, chatting with friends and playing with the street rats that dart down the alleyway, baseball bat and ball in hand.

She stands, tucking her sewing beneath the table. "Well, ladies, I'd say it's almost lunch, wouldn't you?"

With a glance at her watch, Spot's girl declares with barely concealed awe that she's right on time, as usual. "How do you do it?" she asks as Sarah hears his footsteps on the stairwell. She smiles to herself, thinking that there's never enough time. Not with him. Not all to herself.

"Oh, you know," she replies airily, opening the door for him before he can knock and intertwining their fingers, "It's just routine."