Three weeks later….
Spot walked carefully down the steps of the Brooklyn lodging house, moving his fingers one by one gently but efficiently. Last night he and Fury had led their second attack on Harlem, one that had while been successful cost them two Queens newsies and the temporary use of Spot's left hand. Now that he could move every limb in his body again they could prepare for an attack from Harlem, something that was sure to come.
Stopping at the bottom of the staircase Spot glanced over at Fury, who at the moment was talking to one of her subjects from Queens. The King couldn't help but smile; their relationship had taken a turn for the better in the past few weeks, gone from rivals to allies to decent friends in such a little amount of time. Spot couldn't help but notice each day how beautiful Fury was, but each time he did the newsie forced himself to push it out of his mind. He wasn't falling for her, was he?
Walking a bit closer to Fury, Spot overheard the final bit of her conversation with the little girl she was talking to. He then tried to stifle a laugh. The green-eyed girl Fury was talking to was the very same one Spot and Ink had met their first time in Queens, but this time she was less hostile. The two Queens newsgirls barely even noticed Spot was there.
"I told you Chip, I don't have time for that. We're in a war!" Fury was protesting.
"Yeah, but he's-"
Fury put her hands on her hips and looked sternly at Chip, who suddenly backed down. "Fine," Chip huffed. "But you're missing out."
"Just make sure I have this right!" Fury snapped.
Chip sighed and waved her hand for Fury to start. "Ok, so the Bronx got too close to our LH last night and Spike did nothing?" the Queen confirmed. Chip nodded. "Absolutely nothing! Just took one look at them, said they were supposed to be there and left." Fury frowned deeply and ran her hands down her black braid. "I'll talk to him about it next time he's around. Thanks Chip." The green-eyed girl smiled politely and winked at her leader devilishly. "Just remember what I told you." Then she turned and dashed back out the door.
Feeling slightly curious, Spot stepped forward in front of Fury and grinned. "Watt was dat about?"
Fury snapped her head up, startled, but broke out into a grin at the sight of Spot. "You really need to stop doing that to me, Spot. You almost gave me a heart attack!" The King chuckled, tapping his cane on the floor. "Where's da fun in dat? But youse didn't answer me question; watt were youse talking about with Chip ova dere?" He nodded towards the door. Fury frowned again and sighed. "Sorry, that was one of my birds. She said something about Spike acting weird lately and I promised to look into it."
"Oh." Spot decided to leave out the part where he too had sent a detail out on Spike, figuring that since Fury hadn't mentioned it she either knew about it already and didn't mind or hadn't found out yet. He watched as she pulled her black overcoat (this girl wore a lot of black!) on and started out the door. "Hey!" Spot called out. "Where youse goin'?" Fury glanced back at him, surprised. "For a walk. I haven't been out of the house for fun in forever!"
Spot laughed at her apparent relief and stepped out with her. "Well den, would ya mind if youse had a little company?" Fury raised her eyebrows but giggled and accepted. "I think I might Mr. Conlon," she replied, mocking the wealthy class accent. "What a gentlemen you are!" The two friends both laughed and started down towards the docks. When they'd finally calmed down Spot thought of something.
"Where'd youse learn ta speak so proper anyways?" he asked curiously. Fury shrugged and kept her eyes on the walkway before her. "I wasn't always a street rat, remember? I had a family, an education, the whole package. I sold just the evening edition before the war started to earn extra money, if you'll recall." She remained silent for a minute. "My education's gotten me lots of places recently, Spot. You get more customers if you learn how to talk 'properly'. My brother Royce, when he became a newsie he sort of picked up on the language. Lost plenty of opportunity that way." Fury then laughed harshly. "That was around the same time he became bitter. Losing Mom and Dad was too much, I think. That and always moving around."
She paused for a moment, and Spot took the chance to ask another question. "Watt youse mean by moving around? Where all has youse family lived exactly?" His companion laughed, this time lightening up the mood and smiling. "Oh, I don't know. We lived in Little Italy for the longest time, and then moved to the Italian quarter of Brooklyn while selling in Queens. The distribution center was closer than yours, I think. Either way I made a really good friend when I lived there. His name was Anthony, real sweet and funny as all get- out. His parents were lost in the same shooting that killed mine. After that Royce and I moved to Queens permanently."
Spot felt a twinge of jealousy at the way Fury talked about this 'Anthony'. It was like he was something special- Watt youse think ya doin'? his nagger interrupted. She's a friend, stop thinking 'o' her like dat! Why does it matter anyways? It ain't like she could see youse like dat anyhow. Shut up, he told it. Meanwhile, Fury had finished and was waiting for him to speak. "Spot, you ok?" she asked slowly, cocking her head slightly. "You're awfully quite."
"Nothing, just thinking," Spot replied, a little too quickly. Fury regarded him for a moment, and then decided to let it go. "You never tell anyone about your life Spot," she pointed out suddenly. Spot frowned and kicked at a rock sullenly. "Not much ta talks about." Fury snorted. "If it wasn't much to talk about then I would know already. Plus you owe me for telling you about my own life." She shoved him playfully in the arm. "So spill!" Spot was reluctant about it, but Fury was right, he did owe her. So he did.
"It ain't as elaborate as youse own, Isa sure," he scoffed. "All dat happen was me Ma dyin' in a factory accident an' me Pa leavin' me ta die on da streets in da dead 'o' January. Said Isa looked too much like Ma, he said. Survived off 'o' stealing for about a month before I pick-pocketed a newsie. He caught me, said Isa was pretty good, offered ta teach me how ta be a newsie. Rose up through da ranks shortly aft. Isa guess dat's it really." Fury nodded solemnly. "Short but terrible. I'm sorry Spot, I didn't know."
The King snorted and picked up the rock he had kicked, throwing it into the river. "Yeah, well now ya do." The two were silent for a moment, and soon found themselves at the Brooklyn Bridge. Fury left Spot's side and walked over to the railing, staring down out over the water. Spot stood behind her, watching her intently. His mind wandered towards the conversation she had been having with Chip and what she could have been talking about, but stopped abruptly once he heard a peculiar noise. It was so perfect, so wholesome, so divine- it was Fury singing. Spot quickly tuned into the music and smiled. He'd never seen Fury like this before (but, then again, she wasn't an open book either).
There is a way
There is a spark
There is a hope that you can hold onto
There is a lifeline
Come to the rescue
Just like a hand
That's waiting for you
And if you believe this it's my promise that you won't be alone
There is a way
The truth and the life and the way
Spot listened for a couple minutes, then, when Fury was finished he started to clap politely. Fury whirled around, knife in hand, but then saw him and breathed a sigh of relief. "Sorry, I forgot you were still there," the Queen apologized, blushed and putting her dagger away. Spot laughed and put his hand on her arm reassuringly. "S'fine, youse were great!" Fury smiled timidly, running her hand down the back of her neck. "You really think so? My mother used to sing it to me and Royce when we were little. I'd almost forgotten all about it."
Spot looked at her quizzically. "Interestin'. Hey, ya nova talk about ya older brother. He don't live in Queens does he?" Fury turned away, back over the water, frowning. "There isn't much to talk about. He's about two years older than me, only family left I guess. He was my idol when I was younger. He said that he would always protect me, be there for me, you know?" "Den where is he now, if he ain't around?" Spot pressed. Fury gritted her teeth, as if trying to suppress a bad memory. "Only dead to me," she muttered harshly.
That silenced Spot for a bit, giving Fury a chance to cool down. After a minute she faced Spot, this time more relaxed and in control. "Isn't it odd that we know more about each other on a week than anyone else does in a whole year?" They both broke out laughing. "Youse gotta admit, it is kind 'o' strange," Spot remarked. "An' ta think we used ta be da worst 'o' enemies-"
"And now look at us!" Fury finished, still trying to catch her breath. "Two borough leaders having a 'civilized' conversation!" She mocked the rich accent again, which got the two started off again. After a good five minutes they were able to calm down, and Spot looked at his pocket watch. "We'd beta get goin' it's almost midnight." Fury paused and shook her head. "Go on ahead, I'll stay out here a bit longer. I need to get to Manhattan anyways." Spot crinkled but his nose in confusion. " Watt's youse doin' in 'Hattan?"
Fury shrugged and started off. "Visiting an old friend!"
The King of Brooklyn nodded and watched her go for a minute, then turned around and whispered into the darkness "Alright Hotshot, Isa know ya dere. C'mon out." A small boy no older than 10 slipped out of the shadows and faced his leader. "Ya rang sir?" he lisped, imitating a butler. Spot chuckled and pointed at Fury's disappearing figure. "Follow err an' make sure she don't get into trouble. Find out watt she's doin' in 'Hattan pronto." Hotshot nodded but didn't go just yet. "Hey Spot, can Isa ask youse something?" he questioned. Spot shrugged and waved grim on. "Sure kid, watt youse wanna know?"
"Everyone's talkin' about youse bein' in love with Fury," Hotshot said bluntly. "Is dat true?"
Spot was caught off guard, if only for a moment. Did he? Honestly, did he? Smiling politely and ruffling up Hotshot's hair, he finally replied "Isa ain't sure yet kid. Gimme time, den maybe." The bird shrugged and crossed his arms, acting older than he really was. "Youse own loss den, she's real nice. Fury's kind an' pretty an' smart an' real, real tough-like. All da older boys say youse missin' out, but Isa guess da heart wants what da heart wants-"
"Just follow err' an' report back, alright?" Spot snapped, trying to get Hotshot to stop babbling. "Ya giving me a headache!" Hotshot muttered sorry and took off down the Bridge, towards where Fury had gone. Satisfied, Spot turned tail and headed back to Brooklyn.
Fortunately for Fury, she didn't have to travel all the way to Manhattan tonight. Her friend was just halfway down the Brooklyn Bridge, waiting to meet her. In fact, there he was now, leaning on the railing looking over the harbor and watching a barge float by. "Hey Anthony!" the Queen of Queens called out to him. "How's it rolling?" Anthony turned around and broke out into a wide grin. "How many times Isa gotta tell youse Fury, it's Racetrack now!" he retorted playfully. Fury walked up beside him and shoved him on the shoulder good-naturedly. "Yeah, but you'll always be Anthony to me, eh?" the Italian girl told her best friend.
Racetrack laughed and motioned for her to sit down on the bench next to him. Fury did so and handed him a cigar. "Not you're usual, but best I could find," she apologized. Race waved it off, lighting it up and taking a puff. "Nah, youse did good. How's Queens? Youse an' Brooklyn getting along beta now dat ya allies an' whatnot?" Fury shrugged, lighting up her own cigarette. "Better I guess. We're allies, that's all. How are you and Rosemary doing? Still dating and everything?"
The Manhattan newsie smiled and got a faraway look in his eyes. "Yeah, we're great! Took err ta dinner last night actually." "Oh, good for you!" Fury congratulated. "You two make the cutest couple! What about Jack and Sarah, are they alright? I haven't seen Sarah in ages." Race snickered, taking another whiff of his cigar before blowing it out to save it for later. "Youse wouldn't believe it! Dere as strong as eva, sure, but boy is dey lovey-dovey! Gracious, me an' Rosemary is barely even half dat. It's funny, we're all jokin' about dem getting' married an' such, but Isa found out from Davey Jack's actually bought da ring!"
Fury gasped in delight and clapped her hands giddily. "Oooh, that's so sweet! Rather fast, but knowing them it's gonna work like magic. Is Sarah gonna say yes, do you know?" Race nodded. "David told me, Mush an' Blink dat she's gonna say yes if he does, she told im'. But we're off topic! How youse an' Spit getting' along?" The Queen suddenly grew quiet and stared at her laced up boots like they were something interesting. Race cocked his head, worried about his best friend. "Hey, youse ok Trinity?" he asked, using her real name.
"I'm fine Tony, it's nothing," the girl countered, but Race still pressed on. "Well t ain't nothin', or else youse woulda already answered da question. Watt, Spot too bossy for ya taste?" fury shot Race a glare and shook her head. "No, it's not like that, Spot's a nice guy and we're friends-"
"So watt's eating ya?"
The Queens newsie sighed and twirled her braid around her finger, looking up into Racetrack's warm brown eyes. "It's just, well, he'd never go for a girl like me, you know? Race, Spot's really nice once you get to know him, not to mention the best looking guy I've ever really been attracted to, but he's got girls practically FALLING at his feet! And look at me; I'm a newsie leader of an opposite borough with more baggage than a freight train….." she let her voice trail off. Race placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder and frowned. "Guy troubles huh? Fury, if anything, youse by far da best giorl for im', mark me words. Youse got everything Spot admires in a giorl; don't let Royce's failures become youse too. Dat's his problems- youse is a clean slate. He'll comes around, Isa sure 'o' it."
Fury smiled faintly and gave Race a sisterly sort of kiss on the cheek. "Thank Tony. You're the best, you know that?" Race laughed and pretended to faint from shock. "Big surprise dere!" he joked. "How if only Isa can get Rosemary ta say da same thing…." Fury chuckled and got up to leave. "See you around Racetrack Higgins!" she called out behind her, waving at him. Race saluted his best friend and departed as well. "Addio Trinity!"
The girl laughed at the surprising use of their first language and took off back to Brooklyn.
Spot was just finishing up a conversation with Ink when Hotshot ran in, clearly out of breath. Ink looked at the King curiously but said nothing as Spot walked towards the bird. "So, where'd she go?" he asked the 7 year old impatiently. Hotshot pointed out the door and then plopped down in a vacant chair. "Not far. All Fury did was meet some guy at da center 'o' da Bridge. Youse know dat Anthony character she told youse about? He's actually Racetrack!"
"Racetrack? As in Racetrack Higgins?" Ink confirmed, walking over to check on the two. "Isa nova knew he used ta live in Brooklyn." "Neither did I," Spot growled. Hotshot recognized the distinct jealousy in his leader's eyes, so he moved forward to finish the rest of the report. "But dey ain't an item or nothin'!" he said quickly. "Dere just old friends. Race's actually gotta giorlfriend; some Manhattan schoolgiorl named Rosemary." Spot subconsciously breathed a sigh of relief and dismissed Hotshot, whom immediately took off to find his pal Shark. Ink snorted when he saw the look on his face. "Is dis a hint 'o' jealous I sense Spot?" he asked innocently.
The King whirled around to glare at his second. "Wha-no! Isa just wanted ta know where Fury went, dat's it." Ink winked mischievously at him. "Sure ya did. Spot, youse can tell me. We all know youse like err."
"Isa do not! Fury's just a friend!"
"Spot." Ink rolled his eyes. "Ya me pal, Isa ain't gonna tell no body. It ain't like she's here ta hear youse anyways. Fury's probably still a long way off."
The Brooklynite frowned and slumped down into the chair Hotshot was just recently in. "Well, watt do youse want me ta say Ink? She's one 'o' kind! Fury- she ain't like da rest 'o' dem giorls Isa see every now an' den. Look at err; she's a knockout, intelligent, tough as nails, she's da first female newsie ta eva take charge a borough, much less a rough town like Queens. But we're friends; dat's all she wants. Ta her err' borough and leadership will always come first, with Queens dat's always how it's been. She wouldn't even consider lookin' at a guy like me like dat."
Brooklyn's second frowned and rolled his eyes again. "Spot Conlon, Isa can't believe youse! Has ya looked at youseself in da mirror lately? Isa gonna deny it da rest 'o' me life, but youse actually ain't half bad Spot. Ya da filthy leader 'o' Brooklyn, da King 'o' New York for crying out loud! Don't tell me Fury wouldn't look at ya like dat because she already is! Haven't ya noticed how similar ya two are? Dat's why ya became such good friends. Look, maybe she is loyal ta err borough- she should be! It's about da same as youse, aft' all. Just keep bein' friends, keep testing da waters. Fury'll come around; she ain't stupid." And with that said Ink left to go find Shark.
Spot stayed where he was, mulling over Ink's words. Maybe he was right; perhaps he did stand a chance after all…..
"SPOT CONLON GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!" a furious voice rang out from the front door, making the house shake. Spot whirled around to face none other than Fury herself, eyes glowing with untold malice. She saw him and stalked over, getting everyone in the room's full attention. The Queen stopped right in front of him and smacked the newsboy clear across the face. "I give you my trust, my loyalty, my dedication, and this is how you repay me? By attaching a detail out on me and watching my every move? What's wrong with you?"
The Brooklynite turned a pale white and bit his lip. Fury had found out about his sending Hotshot to find out whom she was meeting and obviously felt offended. Very, very offended. "Fury, Isa sorry, alright?" he tried to explain, but the girl just pushed him away and stormed off. Spot groaned and ran after her, hoping it wasn't too late to seek forgiveness.
Did I do OK or what? I'm sorry I haven't updated sooner, but life's, well, hectic at the moment. Who's ready to go back to school? Not me! But you can cheer me up by reviewing, so press the button below and I'll update fast, K?