Author's Note: This is an idea I had while watching the video of the production of Urinetown that I just finished stage managing (nothing like good old post-show depression, right?). While working on the show, I was really fascinated by Bobby's relationship with Penny, and that got me thinking about what Bobby's life was like before the show, or even before he worked at Amenity #9. This chapter is pretty short. Maybe a oneshot, maybe more, we'll see. Please please please review! Anything you have to say, good, bad, ridiculous, please take a minute to write it out for me. Criticism makes my day. Also, obviously I own none of Urinetown.

Chapter One

Bobby Strong was used to getting kicked around. You had to be, growing up in the bad part of town. The people who lived around Public Amenity #9 may have kept from succumbing to the violence usually present in slum neighborhoods, but that didn't mean the area wasn't still a prime target for police aggression. It seemed that every time a cop needed to blow off some steam, he headed down to find someone to pick on. Every kid around knew as soon as he could walk that cops were bad news. You stayed out of their way, and hopefully they didn't bother you. Bobby was already twelve, and he was pretty good at keeping his head down. But not today.

"You there!"

Bobby's head snapped up. Two cops were marching down the street toward him. He recognized them both: Officer Higgins, the chief of police, and Officer Lockstock, his right-hand man.

"Harry, police!"

The boys took off running. Harry, whose temper and recklessness had already earned him the nickname "Hot Blades," was six years Bobby's senior, and had the legs to show for it. In seconds, he was speeding off into the darkness.

Bobby was yanked to a stop and whirled around by a hand on his shoulder. He struggled to get loose, but Lockstock held him fast.

"Bobby Strong, isn't it?" the cop asked.

"Lemme go!"

Officer Higgins approached slowly, smacking his truncheon absentmindedly on his palm. "Out a bit late, aren't you, boy?" he asked.

"We were just going for a walk," Bobby answered, trying to keep his voice from shaking. "Just out talking and getting some air is all."

Both cops glared down at him.

"Do you know what the Public Health Act is, Bobby Strong?" Lockstock asked.

"Everyone knows what the Public Health Act is," Bobby scoffed. "And we're good people around here who don't break it!"

In fact, that's exactly what they'd been doing. Well, Hot Blades had, anyway. He'd been a little short on cash lately, not so much that he couldn't pay at all, but enough that he had to cut back. Bobby was just his lookout.

"Let him go, Mr. Lockstock," said Higgins finally. "You watch yourself, Bobby Strong, you hear?"

He turned away. Lockstock shoved Bobby, who stumbled but didn't fall. Both policemen marched off down the street, leaving the boy staring after them, glaring mutinously. He was going to kill Hot Blades.