Haven't written in awhile, but it struck me as I watched the Newsies and read Narnia fanfiction (odd combination, I know) that the time periods where close enough for the Pevensies to bump into the Newsies (even if the Newsies would be a bit older). After all, Susan had gone to America, hadn't she? I contemplated using her instead of Edmund, but it just didn't sit right. Susan was trying to forget being a Queen. Anyways, just a one-shot. Hope you enjoy!
David glanced up from the headline he was looking over, the mark up for tomorrow, to see a young man looking at him with a well known expression on his face. David smiled. While crowds of reporters might get to him, talking to younger people never got old.
"It's perfect," he said, handing it back to his head printer, "Layout's fine. Get a final check from Luis about any grammar errors and run it." The man nodded and ran off, leaving David to make his way through the machines over to the boy he'd seen.
"One of my best printing shops," he remarked, "You like?" The young man nodded, looking around as if giving the place a one over.
"Just large enough to be impressive, just small enough to really keep a hand in it," he commented, surprising David with his insight, "Didn't expect to see you here though Sir." David laughed. What a sight he must be, owner of a large newspaper company standing in the printing rooms covered in ink and type print.
"Most people don't," he said merrily, "Between you and me, that's how I escape the work hounds." The boy nodded, as if he had gone through such a thing himself. David was intrigued. The young man in front of him was one of those people who could always seem to know what was going on, even if he didn't. David had known men like that in his time, they where the kind of people who got somewhere, made changes in the world. People like Spot Colon, and Jack…
"Sorry if I'm interrupting your work here sir," the young man said, holding out a hand, "I was just curious as to how it was done. I'm Edmund Pevensie."
"Nice to meet you Mr. Pevensie," David replied with a firm handshake, "I'm David Jacobs."
"Oh, I know who you are sir, I've read all about you," The boy replied earnestly. It was not until then that David noticed the accent. This boy was from London. What was he doing here?
"I didn't know they thought much about me across the Pond," he said casually, curious as to where this increasingly sophisticated young man had heard of him.
"There was a workman's strike a few years ago," Edmund replied, "And I was trying to understand what the hullaballoo was about. When they started blaming the yanks, well, I figured a history of American strikes would be a good place to start," he said with a smile.
"Ah," David said, understanding. Yes, very impressive young man indeed.
"Would you like to come up to my office for a cup of something, Mr. Pevensie?" he found himself asking, "Perhaps I can show you around the factory, if you're inclined." Edmund shook his head.
"I appreciate the offer, but I've promised my sister I'd let her show me around later. It's only my first visit here to America, and she's been here before, so she's quite keen on it," he said with a bit of a grimace. David laughed.
"I'm sure your sister is not that bad," he said.
"Not really," Edmund admitted, "It's only, she's not interested in interesting things any more. High society and gentlemen callers and all that, you know." David nodded.
"I suppose all older sisters go through that phase," David agreed, "Mine certainly did. She grew out of it though, and I'm sure yours will too."
"I hope so," Edmund said, a thoughtful worried look in his eyes David was not used to seeing, "I truly hope so." David changed the subject.
"Then, may I ask what brought you here during your brief respite?" he asked, "Interested in the business are you?" Edmund nodded.
"Mildly," he said, "I hadn't realized until I went over the Newsboy's Strike how important Journalism was to the pursuit of Justice." David blinked.
"So you are interested in Justice then?" The boy smiled, seeming to… remember something?
"Well, yes," he answered carefully, "I rather hope to be a judge someday." David raised a brow. Such high ambitions. Although, if his family could make more then one trip to the Americas, perhaps he could afford such dreams. David remembered when the highest dream held by any boy he knew was simply to escape to Santa Fe… such a long time ago. Made David feel old.
"I was rather impressed by the Strike actually, if you don't mind me saying so Sir," Edmund continued, "Such a fight against what must have been overwhelming odds… Reminded me of…" The boy cut off, as if he'd said something he shouldn't. David smiled.
"It's alright boy, I know, I see it in your eyes," he told him, "Faced a bit of overwhelming odds yourself, right?"
"You could say that," Edmund said quietly.
"Fights like that make men into kings," David commented, "Don't you ever forget that feeling. It helps, later." The young man nodded, oddly serious, yet a twinkle in his eye said he was still not saying all. David's reporting instincts screamed to dig for that story, but David held himself in check, respecting the boy's privacy. Chances were, it was a small tale of childhood, something the boy was too embarrassed to speak of in front of someone he considered a hero. David had seen it many times.
"It does that," Edmund said quietly. David frowned thoughtfully, and almost changed his opinion. Perhaps this boy had done something worth print after all. Besides, had he not forgotten how young he'd been the summer of that strike?
"I remember seeing my face in the paper," David said, almost as much to himself as the young man in front of him, "'Papes' we called them then. We all read the article out loud in one of the local restaurant, and carried on like it was the grandest thing in the world. If for but one day, we were Kings." He cleared his head and looked at the young man who stood in front of him, a smile on his face.
"I thought America didn't have any Kings?" Edmund asked. David smiled.
"Well that day New York had several," he replied, "And some of us never stopped," he said with a smirk, remembering Jack in the governor's coach, and Spot with his golden cane. He still held more sway in Brooklyn then any man had right too, God Bless him. David motioned Edmund closer and lowered his voice.
"I'm going to tell you something, young man, that has taken me years to learn," he said. Edmund waited patiently.
"It's not what country you rule, or who's under your authority," David said, "It's about how you hold yourself, how you conduct yourself in society. You behave with the nobility and honor of a King; people take notice, no matter who you are. I know a man who was an orphan Irish off the ships at age five, and now is the most powerful man in Brooklyn. Another a convict's son and convicted convict himself, now up for mayor-ship next month. I myself was the poor son of a factory worker who had to stop school to work as a newsie to support the family. You treat people with the respect nobility demands, and hold yourself as if you're wearing that crown, people will follow you."
Edmund smiled, and nodded in thanks for the advice.
"I'll try to convince Susan of that," he said, "I think she's forgotten what a crown feels like." The older man blinked, but smiled just the same. How he wished he could get this young man's story…
David saw the boy off, Edmund promising he'd come round again if he could, though the older man didn't expect to see him again. The old journalist shook his head. Such a strange young man.
Edmund Pevensie shook his head as he walked back to the lodgings the family was staying in for the next month. For a moment the old King had been certain he'd found another friend of Narnia, but no, just a wise older gentleman who'd discovered early in life something the Pevensies had discovered when they'd first gone back to school- royalty, true royalty, the kind found inside as well as out, was rare in this world. He'd been glad to meet the owner of the Sun Journal though; the man had served as a reminder, and had given him ideas on how to bring Susan back to them. Maybe this time he'd be able to break through.
He'd have to bring Peter back with him to the factory before they headed home to England. It was not often that they could speak to foreign royalty anymore. He was sure Peter would much enjoy speaking to the King of New York.
So? Like, Dislike? I focused on the royalty aspect as bit, but I liked that angle. The idea that there could be true royalty in our world, without actual crowns involved... well, it's something to think about. Anyways, I'm sure, historically speaking, there is quite a bit wrong with this fic, but I hope it doesn't stand out too much. And if David seems out of character, please remember he is much older now. Also, I made him the big newspaper man because he seemed the one most likely to be interested in that life. Let me know what you think in any case, and I hope you enjoyed reading!