Disclaimer: I don't own "Newsies"
A/N: For those of you who wanted an update of "Princess of Manhattan", I looked at it again and kind of hated it. Plus, I had nowhere to go. And now, without further ado, I give you "The Cat and Conlon".
Chapter One: You Are Going to Have a Good Time!
Caitlin Jones had a lot of reasons to mope. Sixteen years ago, her mother died giving birth to her. She lived only with her father from then on as she had no siblings. Life was good for a while,
But then the accident happened. There was a fire at the factory where her father worked. He would have gotten out fine, but stayed behind to help his friend who was stuck behind a burning beam that had collapsed. His friend had gotten out, but her father was not so lucky.
The few days after his death were a bit of a blur to Caitlin.
Thankfully, as if this were an answer to a prayer, her friend, Sarah Jacobs, offered that she come to live with her family.
So yes, though Caitlin could mope around all she wanted, but she knew that it wouldn't do any good, and she knew that it wasn't what her father would have wanted.
It wasn't long before she felt like a part of the family. She got along well with David, and Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs definitely weren't complaining that there was another person to watch Les.
It was only a short time after she moved in with the Jacobs family when she decided that she needed a job, though Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs said that she really didn't need to. Caitlin, however, didn't want to be more of a burden on the family than she needed to be. She quickly found a job as a sewing girl in a seamstress shop.
After a while, she fell into a routine. She would wake up, have breakfast, head off to her job, work from eight in the morning until noon, take a fifteen minute lunch break, work another six hours, and then finally head off to the Jacobs' apartment. She had dinner with them and then went to sleep before she started the whole thing again the next morning.
On her one day off a week, she would help Mrs. Jacobs with the shopping, adding some of her own paycheck to the budget so she could account for herself.
One day, Sarah voiced her opinions on her friend's schedule.
"You never have any fun," she said. "You work ten hours a day, and when you're not at work, you don't leave the house unless it's to run errands."
"Your family has been so nice to let me stay here," Caitlin rebutted. "It's the least I can do to pay you back."
"You haven't had any time to yourself! Even Jack doesn't take his job this seriously."
Ah, yes. Caitlin should have known that Sarah's infamous boyfriend would somehow make his way into their conversation. Caitlin had met the boy many times as he often came around for dinner, and despite his laid-back attitude, it was obvious that the boy took being a newsie very seriously, so if someone said that she pushed herself harder than Jack Kelley, she knew there was something wrong.
Caitlin's shoulders slackened and she could see that Sarah knew she was winning.
"Look, tomorrow's your day off," her friend began, "and you are not going to worry about going shopping with my mother. Tonight, the newsies are getting together at Irving Hall, and you are coming with me, and it will not matter how late you stay up because you will have no obligations tomorrow. You will enjoy yourself tonight, do you hear me?"
"Okay…" Caitlin agreed, surprised at how pushy her friend was being.
"Good," Sarah said, smiling with victory. "Okay, so I have a dress that would be perfect for you, and of course something needs to be done with your hair."
"Wait, when did I agree that you could dress me and do my hair?" Caitlin, voice rising.
"You did, when you agreed that you would have a good time tonight. It's not like you can go to Irving Hall in just anything," Sarah rolled her eyes as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"But it's just newsies," Caitlin said. "Why can't I wear the kind of dress I normally wear?"
"Because the kind of dress you normally wear is basically made of rags stitched together," Sarah countered. "And it may be just newsies, but you can bet that they're dressing in the best of whatever they have, so it's only fair that you look nice, too."
"Fine," Caitlin conceded. "But don't make my hair too elaborate. I don't want to be pulling pins out of my head for hours before I go to sleep."
"Caitlin, when will you just learn to trust me?"
"When you give me a reason to," was the reply.
The two friends laughed for a while. Then, Sarah did her hair as she promised and picked out a dress that, Caitlin had to admit, looked rather nice on her.
Sarah then got herself ready before they were about ready to leave.
Sarah was right, it seemed, as David got rather dressed up as well. Les pitched a fit about not being allowed to go, but his parents had told him that it was far too late for a boy of his age and finally calmed him down.
The three of them (Caitlin, Sarah and David) then left the apartment and started walking to Irving Hall.
"Now, there are a few things you should know," David said (ever since she started living at the Jacobs', he had acted as if he was almost her brother). "One, don't ever bet against Racetrack; he never loses. Two, don't try to help Crutchy with anything unless he asks first. He doesn't like it when people take pity on him. And finally, it's probably in your best interest if you don't talk to Spot Conlon. He's the leader of the Brooklyn newsies, a real tough guy. I'm not really sure how he treats girls, but I don't trust him, so be careful."
"David, lay off her," Sarah said, smacking her brother on the shoulder. "She'll be fine, right Caitlin?"
Caitlin nodded, but she wasn't so sure. Even before all the events that led her to live with the Jacobs', she wasn't very social, and she was always shy about meeting new people. In all honesty, she wanted to turn back.
But she promised her friend that she would have a good time, so she figured that she might as well give it a try.