This chapter has been edited... sorta. Tell me if you find any mistakes!


Chapter Twenty-Four - We'se don't know


The sight of Madeline laying next to Patches, both of them bloody and bleeding, had him standing straighter and pumping his fists in anger. Stubbs was hunched over trying to push himself up from the ground. He failed and fell back to the street. Shredder had backed away from the Brooklyn newsie the second he saw Spot. He was wiping the blood from his mouth onto his sleeve.

Spot gestured with his head, his eyes never leaving the scene before him, and snapped out, "Go aftah dem. Get 'em back 'ere."

Three of his newsboys trailed after Miller as he charged down the street to catch up with Doon and Binder. The two were currently streaking passed buildings and shoving into people as they tried to make a fast getaway.

"Shit, shit, shit," Blitz skid past Spot and landed hard on his knees next to Maddie and Patches, Twiggy skinning his hands as he did the same. Blitz slowly turned the small girl over and Spot's eyes narrowed at the blood gushing from the wounds on her face. His seething eyes caught Shredder's defiant ones.

"Is dere a reason you'se is tryin ta take me girl right from undah my nose?"

The Midtown leader wisely stayed quiet. Instead, he scratched the back of his head casually. And then he smirked. Spot growled and moved forward past where Blitz was making sure Patches was still breathing and Twiggy was whimpering. Footsteps sounded behind him and Beetle arrived at his right side, Driver showing up on the other.

"Really, if ya wanted 'er dat bad ya shoulda jus' asked me fah 'er."

Shredder broke out into a sly smile. "It wouldn't have made any difference. You still wouldn't have given her to me."

Spot shrugged a shoulder. "True, but at least I'se woulda known you'se was coming so I'se could prepare fa ya 'rrival."

"What, like a cheery welcome and a dinner of soup and bread?"

"No, more like a punch ta da face."

Beetle cracked his knuckles and Shredder briefly glanced at the muscled newsie. "Yeah, well your boy already beat you to it. Literally. Can't you see the bruises already forming?"

Spot barely acknowledged the dark masses on his jawline. Not taking his eyes off of Shredder, he kicked his foot out and jabbed Stubbs in the side. The teen groaned at the contact before rolling onto his back. He squinted up at Driver.

"'bout time ya got 'ere."

Driver scowled and pulled his friend to his feet while he moaned in pain. Spot gripped his cane tighter and lifted it to point at the Midtown newsboy. "You'se ready ta get ya ass beat worse den what Stubbs did ta ya?"

Shredder raised a brow. "Think you'll be able to do it yourself? Without the cane."

Spot handed his gold-tipped cane and sling-shot to Driver to hold. He rolled his shoulders and put his fists up.

Shredder grinned maliciously and shook his wrists out. "This is going to be fun."

I had no clue how long it had been since my eyes were last opened. It could have been minutes, hours, or even days. I was in pain. My head was throbbing, the back of my skull aching badly. I ran my tongue over my dry lips and winced at the movement. The pain was so bad that had I not slowly cracked my eyes open, I never would have registered the fingers running circles over the back of my right hand.

The blurry mass of a person sat next to me on a stool. It took me several minutes before my vision was finally cleared. The troubled look on Spot Conlon's turned face had my breath hitching. He didn't notice. His stormy eyes were pointed to where his thumb was running against my skin. He bent closer to the bed, his forehead lightly resting against my hip. The sight of a large cut along his chin almost made me jolt up to get a closer look, but I stayed still. Instead, I quietly observed him. Along with the scabbed over cut on his jaw, he had a large bruise marring his cheek and several scratches amongst the various scars on his tanned arms.

I surveyed the surrounding area and found that I was on the bunk I had slept in the night before. We were back in Brooklyn. No one else was in the bunk room other then Spot and I. His fingers lightly squeezed my hand and I gave a gentle tug back. He tilted his head up to look at me before shooting forward and pulling me up into a tight hug.

"Don't evah do dat 'gain, Mads."

My fingers clenched the back of his shirt and my face nuzzled into the warm skin of his neck.

"Ya nevah 'llowed ta go anywhere without me'se. You'se scared da hell outta me, ya know dat?"

I nodded my head and breathed in the scent that was purely Spot Conlon. He leaned back and the hands that had circled my waist were now on either side of my face. His forehead rested against mine and his nose brushed the tip of my own. His dark gray eyes stared worriedly into my pale green ones.

"When we'se got you'se out of dere, ya looked half dead. Seemed like most of ya blood was gushin from ya mouth. Sahrry ta say dis, but, ya lost a tooth."

My hand reached between the two of our faces and I poked a finger into my mouth to feel for the open gum space. Spot chuckled and lowered my hand before interlocking our fingers.

"It's none of ya front teeth so you'se is fine."

I breathed in deeply and closed my eyes. Spot's nose rubbed against my nose and the corners of my mouth lifted slightly. That was when his lips briefly brushed against mine. I instantly froze and he pulled away. Slowly reopening my eyes, I saw that he was gazing at me with a fondness that I had seen my father give my mother numerous times when they were still alive.

"Spot," I tried to speak.

"No, don't, Maddie," he quickly interrupted me. "I'se knows it's too soon since what 'appened wid Robert, but I'se needed ta let ya know."

I swallowed down the lump in my throat and nodded.

"Ok," I said softly. I glanced at the empty room around us. The questions were instantly pouring out of me. "Where's Misty? Is Patches okay? He's not hurt too bad is he? What happened to Shredder? An-and Stubbs... is he alright?"

Spot shifted on the edge of the mattress. I scooted farther towards the head of the bed to give him more room. He ran his fingers through his dirty-blond hair and cleared his throat.

"Patches is fine. 'e's back in Manhattan gettin checked out by Doc. 'e 'as a broken nose, but dat's 'bout it. 'e woke up fa a few minutes, told us you'se protected 'im from da brunt of da attack."

I smiled in relief to hear that Patches had woken up and that he was doing alright.

"An ya know Stubbs tried ta 'elp ya, right? Well 'e's got a couple broken bones dat needed ta be set right away so 'e's stayin in 'hattan fah a while."

Spot mistook my scowl as me being worried for the traitorous newsie.

"We'se took care a Shreddah. 'e was practically dead when we'se left 'im in dat alley. You'se won't be needin ta be worried 'bout 'im any longah."

He went silent and I was almost afraid to ask my first question again. "Where's Misty?"

Spot looked down and his fist clenched into the sheets covering my thighs.

"Where's my sister, Spot? Where's Misty?"

"We'se don't know."

Footsteps shuffled back and forth past the room. The candlelight between the floor and bottom of the door was the only light leaking into the darkness surrounding the prone figure lying on the floor. The pale yellow dress fitted loosely over their overly thin body did nothing but help to bring out the deep bruises painted over her skin. Her legs were twisted into an awkward position, her arms resting against her middle. At first glance, the small girl looked dead. But if one looked close enough, they would be able to see the tell tale sign of her chest barely moving up and down as she softly breathed in the stale air.

Someone on the other side of the door swore loudly. Several heavy footsteps sounded throughout the room behind the wall. The door was slammed open and the room lit up as three boys distributed the weight of a person between themselves. The fourth boy closed the door and held up the lantern for the other three to see where they were going. They moved towards the bed, one of them tripping over the legs of the girl still unconscious on the floor.

"Would somebody get 'er outta da way fore we'se kill ourselves trying ta get 'is Majesty ta safety?"

The blond haired teen grasped the girl's arm with one hand and then dragged her away from the middle of the room. The three set their burden down onto the bed, not unkindly, before taking a step back and taking in the damage.

"Jesus, what da 'ell did Spot do ta 'im?"

"'e looks like 'e got run ovah by a trolley."

"What 'appened? I'se thought you'se was supposed ta get da girl an get out of dere."

"You'se knows Shreddah, 'e always 'as to put 'imself inta more dangah. Dat girl was more trouble den she was worth."

"Yeah, I'se mean, really? Goin aftah Conlon's girl, an fah some 'omeless guy who claims ta be a faddah jus wantin 'is daughter 'ome? Was 'e crazy?"

"Obviously, look at 'im! 'e's practically dead, if not already 'eaded in dat direction."

"An now we'se is on Brooklyn's bad side. Son of a bitch. As soon as Shreddah wakes up we'se is 'avin a liddle talk wid 'im."

It went silent. The four boys continued to inspect their leader as the man himself struggled for breath. The dark skinned boy rubbed a hand over his face. "Next time dis 'appens, dis confrontation wid stealin somethin from Conlon, we'se come up wid a bettah plan before somethin like dis can occur 'gain."

The other three nodded agreeably. The boy holding the lantern turned and found himself staring down at the twisted form of the small girl. "Someone get 'er off da floor and somewheres out of sight. Shreddah don't need ta be seein 'er right aftah 'er smart mouth just about got 'im killed tanight. If it 'adn't been fa 'er, we'se woulda had time ta get dat othah girl outta dere wid minutes ta spare."

The hefty boy and a dark haired teen moved towards the tiny being. One opened the door to the armoire in the corner of the room while the other none too gently picked her up before throwing her onto the floor of the cabinet.

The newsie holding onto the handle of the lantern leaned down slightly and grinned at the closed eyes of the pale girl. "Sweet dreams, Misty."

Cruel laughter was heard as both doors, the one to the dresser and the one to the room, slammed shut and the two people inside were put into darkness once again. The being inside the armoire shifted just a tiny bit, her eyes squinting open to nothingness. Seconds later her eyes were rolling into the back of her head as blood slowly, but continuously, leaked from the wound on the back of her skull.

The small broken girl known as Misty Eyes was no more.

Reviews – I'm just going to say this: Thanks to everyone who ever reviewed for Murmur. Without all of you, I never would have had the encouragement to get through to the end and get this story finished. I freakin love all of you! This fanfiction has almost reached the 200 review mark, please, let's make it happen!

For those of you who reviewed for chapter 24, thanks -

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