Ok, so this is my first Newsies story, I hope you like it!
*Author's Note* I don't own Medda bit I do own the others (does it count if one of the newsies is younger? Then I don't own him either :( )
"Teddy and Tears"
Six year old Vivienne Barret wonders aimlessly around the third class deck. She knew her older brother, Tanner, was a few steps behind her watching over his silent sister. Her stale green eyes glance up toward her brother and her pale pink lips sunk into their now normal droop. Tanner watches her sit down under a lifeboat rack clutching a small teddy bear. He squats down in front of her, deepening the worry lines on his twelve year old forehead.
"Vivvy, do you want a glass of milk?" Tanner hopes that she would break her third month of silence. But she just looks up at him and gives him a slight nod.
"Ok, I'm going to go get your milk, you stay right here, alright? Don't move from here. I will be right back." Tanner ran off to retrieve the treat.
Vivienne looks down at her teddy. A tear falls on to his tummy and she buries her face into the bear trying to smell the fading scent of her mother. Quiet sobs shake her small frame and she curls into a tiny ball, lying on the wooden deck.
"Hey, why are yous cryin'?"
Vivienne jumps and sits up. She looks into the soft crystal blue eyes of a young boy. He climbs out of the lifeboat, looking down at her. He was about a year older then her and had dark blond hair that was in his eyes.
"Did some one hurt you?" kneeling he looks for the truth in her eyes. Clutching teddy, Vivienne gentle shakes her head. Scrunching his eyebrows together he nods once and sits down beside her, accepting her answer. "Good, because if someone had, I would have ta beat them up."
Vivienne watchs the boy watch her. For the first time in months she was interested in something.
He points to her teddy. "Did you ma make that for you?" a hint if mist crosses his blue eyes but it was quickly blinked away. Not hearing anything he looks up at her face. She nods in return, handing him her precious friend to examine. He turns teddy over and touches the black button eyes and crooked embroidered mouth. He tries to copy the smile but it turns into a cocky smirk. Slowly he brings teddy to his slightly upturned nose and inhales the scent of lavender. "Does it still smell like her?" He didn't need verbal confirmation to know that she had lost her mother as well.
A small tear slid down her cheek and fell onto his arm as she shook her head. He regrets his question and scoots up next to her, Placing his thin arm around her shoulder he hands teddy back to the small child. Lavender is released as she curls up against him, making him miss the small cottage he left behind.
"Don't worries, I wont let nothin' happen to you." He rests his head on top of her brown curls. "Sean is going to take care of you."
"Vivienne!' the strong voice of her father calls out over the wailing of the seabirds.
Sean jumps up and offers Vivienne a hand. Pulling her up he points to the lifeboat number. "I'll meet you here again tomorrow, ok?" He scrambles under the boat cover and disappears.
Thomas Barret swept his only daughter in to his arms and snuggls her close. You look so much like you mother. He sighs and carries her to the cabin they shared with her two older brothers. Tanner was sitting on one of the two beds with his arms crossed and Mathew, the oldest, was pacing back and forth. The cabin door scraps open and Mathew's head snaps up. In two and a half strides the fourteen year old boy gathers his baby sister in his arm and throwing a glare at Tanner sits on the bed and begins to rock her.
"Tanner, I know you only wanted to cheer Vivienne up, but we can't leave her alone on the ship. Someone needs to be with her at all times, alright?" Thomas looks at his miserable son. He knew Tanner hadn't meant any harm but this ship wasn't like the safe little village his boys had grown up in. He rubs his hands over his face, thinking about the city he was taking them to. Manhattan was only ten days away, what was he going to do when he got there?
"Goodnight night Vivienne." Thomas hopes for a small goodnight but receives only the gentle roar of the engine in response. Tanner bunks with his father, while Mathew insists that he keep an eye on Vivienne.
Vivienne slips her hand in Tanner's and tugs on it gently. He obediently follows her to lifeboat number P102. Vivienne points to the 'P' on the side and looks expectantly at her brother.
"That stands for 'port' because it's on the port side of the ship."
Vivienne settles down on the deck and pulls out teddy, tracing his grin, looking up at the boat above her. She pulls her shawl tighter around her shoulder, warding off the cool sea breeze.
"Vivvy, are you waiting for someone?" He is rewarded a little nod. "Who are you waiting for?" Tanner thinks he see a glimmer of life behind those sad jade eyes. She turns as a boy attempts to saunter over to them. He looks uneasily up at Tanner and stop a few feet before them.
Vivienne watches him approach them but stop before he gets to close to Tanner. She looks up to see Tanner sizing Sean up. Slipping her hand into Tanners, Vivienne scoots making room for Sean to sit down.
Both boys seem to accept her show of confidence in the other, so the both sit down on either side of her. Sean nudges her gaining her innocent gaze.
"Where is your bear?"
Vivienne pulls teddy out of her shawl and offers him to her new friend. She watches him very seriously shake teddy's hand before smirking back at him.
"What was that?" Sean held teddy to his ear as if listening to him, catching a whiff of lavender. "He said he's happy to see me again, but he would rather be with you." Sean hands teddy back to Vivienne.
She takes back her teddy and the hint of a smile tried to break through the sadness masking her features. Tanner stares at her with hope.
They were two days from New York. Every day Tanner had taken Vivienne to meet with Sean at P102 after lunch. Every day he asked to see teddy. Today was no different, Tanner sat down next to Vivienne and tugging on one of her curls and smiles down at her, "Vivvy, we're almost to our new home, you know that right?"
She nods, making teddy dance to the sound of the gulls. Hearing the familiar sound of padding feet, she glances up to see Sean on his way over. Holding teddy out, she waits for his daily greeting.
"Hello Mr. Bear. What is that?" Sean savors the smell of the small companion. "You're happy to see me, but you would rather be with her?" He shrugs and returns teddy to a giggling Vivienne, resulting in a smirk. "Vivienne, does Mr. Bear have a name?"
She nods, "Mr. Waddles, because Tanner would make him waddle when I would cwy."
Tanner's jaw drops and her stares at his sister, she hadn't spoken a word in four months. He looks over head in wonder at the boy who had brought her out of her silent depression. Tanner wraps his arms around her in a hug, he pulls back and sees a glowing Vivienne. She giggles and throws her arms around his neck in a joyful hug.
"Sean I'm going to get father, you watch her ok?" Tanner stands, not being able to wait to tell his father about the boy who worked a miracle. Sean sat up strait and gave him a salute.
"Vivienne, I'm not supposed to be on the ship so tomorrow when we get into the city I can't meet you." He saw the visible disappointment in her face. "But I'm happy I was able to get to know you," he tugs on a brown curl, "and Mr. Waddles, too." She hugs Mr. Waddles to her chest and looks up mournfully at Sean. "Don't worry, Manhattan can't be that big, I'll sees you again real soon, promise." Sean crawls into the lifeboat and disappears from sight.
Mathew was the first to reach Vivienne. How could Tanner leave her alone, again? He squats down in front of her looking for any signs of injury.
"Are you ok, Vivienne?" He picks her up not expecting an answer. Thomas strides up behind them dragging Tanner by his arm.
"I otay, Mathew."
Mathew nearly drops her in surprise. Thomas releases Tanner and gathers his girl in his arms.
"What did you say Vivienne?"
"I say, I otay, Mathew." She smiles at her father as he smiles for the first time in months.
"Vivvy, what are you doing?" Tanner snuck in the shadows after his sister, reaching for her hand. She takes his and continues to lead him across the dark ship's deck. Vivienne doesn't answer but continues till they are standing under P102.
"Vivvy, why are we hear?"
"I want to sing him mamma's luwaby. He a wittle frightened and I want to make him bwave." Vivienne kneels down on the cold deck, smoothes her skirt and her soft six year old voice drifted in to the lifeboat as Vivienne sang the lullaby.
In the soft morning glow
When the doves start their cooing
Children play underneath the willow
Mother smiles from her viewing
Wishing after all the summers and snow
Children would stay, not to grow
But when boys come a wooing
Mother knows the doves will still be cooing
Their sweet summer lullaby, oh
When the doves are cooing.
Vivienne gazes at the green statue welcoming her to America. She points up and looks at her father whose arms she was in.
"Da, who is dat?" She wonders why the tall woman was holding a very large candle and standing in the water.
"That is Lady Liberty Vivienne, she is welcoming us to the United States."
Vivienne watches as the Statue of Liberty slowly pass them on the port side of the ship. Thomas returns to their room to gather their luggage. Mathew and Thomas heft the bags while Tanner holds tight to Vivienne's hand. They make their way to the ramp to leave the boat that had been their home for the last two weeks.
Vivienne gasps and starts to pull on Tanners hand. "Tanner, I wosted Mr. Waddles! Tanner we need to find him!" Vivienne pulls on her brother's hand.
"Vivvy, we can't get out of line to find him," Tanner gently picks up his distraught sister and keeps her close, "I'm sorry Vivvy, we can't go look for him."
The Barret's had lived in New York for a month. Tanner and Mathew had easily found jobs in the factories earning a measly twenty cents a day, but with his first twenty cents, Tanner bought Vivienne an wooden ball painted red. Thomas had not been so lucky. As a piano player not many people were interested in hiring him.
Thomas hands Vivienne a hunk of bread from the loaf he had just bought as the walk down a Manhattan street passing a small theatre. Vivienne tried to balance her bread, ball and keep her shawl from slipping off but the red toy escaped and made a beeline for the open stage door. A small squeal of alarm, the shawl forgotten, Vivienne ran after the ball not wanting to loose another toy.
"Vivienne, come back here!" Thomas grabs her shawl and races after her.
Vivienne searches the shadowed filled back stage, finally locating the misbehaving toy. Scooping it up, she notices a vividly dressed woman singing on stage, well at least trying to, the pianist was not playing to her satisfaction.
"No, no Henry, please try again."
Vivienne watches as Henry makes more mistakes, suddenly getting an idea. Stepping timidly onto the stage, Vivienne tugs gently on the woman's green skirt.
"Scuses me, my da can play dat song for you."
The woman looks down at the small voice. She sinks down to Vivienne's level and sets down her pink feather fan. Vivienne looks at her funny red hair, but decides her hazel eyes were kind and inviting.
"Oh, my dear are you lost?"
"No, but my ball was, I had to come and find it." Vivienne points to the piano just off stage, "But my da can play your song for you. He's the bestest pinano player in the whole city."
"Vivienne!" Thomas rushs to his little girl. "Vivienne you must not run off like that." He gathers her into his arms and looks apologetically at the woman. "I am terribly sorry, it will not happen again."
"Oh, no it was not trouble, she had to retrieve her ball," She looks kindly at Vivienne, "But is it true that you are the 'bestest pinano' player in whole city?"
Thomas looks at his small child then the woman, "Is that what she said? I can read music and follow a melody."
The woman raises an eyebrow and looks at the piano offering him a seat to prove his word. Thomas sets his daughter on the floor and walks over to take a seat. He began to play. The woman tests his ability to follow her tempo and the melody. Finishing the song with gusto, she begins to applaud.
"Sir that was wonderful! If you are willing I would like to employ you as my pianist" She smiles at the beaming six year old, curls straying from their ribbon, "but only if you bring this little angel to stay backstage as a lucky charm."
Thomas, too shocked for words, nods happily. "Of course, she would love it."
"Wonderful! My name is Medda."
Yes, this is how he gets his smirk :) Please review!