Title: Christmas Time is Here
Recipient: The whole entire TNC :)
Rating: K+ (Possible spoiler for people who don’t know the whole story line of the stage musical) (Also, it’s super cheesy sort of, but it’s Christmas, so what the heck! Ignore the spelling/grammar issues. I just finished and wanted to get it in on time)
Snow was coming down quickly, covering all of New York in a blanket of white just in time for Christmas. Kathryn Pulitzer was sitting inside her father’s large mansion at the desk in the library positioned right next to the fireplace. The clacking of the typewriter echoed throughout the spacious room as she furiously typed out her next story that would hopefully make the front page. Teddy Roosevelt had announced his campaign for the following year’s presidential election, and she had the honor of having an exclusive interview with him.
She was moving up in the newspaper world, but despite the excitement this story had elicited from her earlier, at that moment she found her mind elsewhere, brooding on that one particular newsie that had stolen her heart: Jack Kelly. It had been a year and a half since the strike and since he had begun courting her.
Things had been going well. Really well in fact. While Kathryn didn’t believe in the idea of “soul mates” or “the one”, she could picture the possibility of spending the rest of her life with him, but then he had to go and screw the whole thing up by suddenly backing out and becoming distant.
Not that she cared or anything. Who needed Jack- or any man for that matter? She could fend for herself. But, if she didn’t need Jack, then why did her heart feel so heavy in her chest?
Kathryn threw her arms up in the air and groaned in frustration. “I’m getting absolutely nowhere with this!”
Seconds later, her best friend and confidante, Raegan, peaked her head over the couch and asked, “With your article? I thought you said you had this one in the bag?”
Raegan had moved next door to Kathryn ten years ago from Maryland. The pair immediately took to each other after discovering that each home had a library, filled with different books. Since then, they began to borrow books from each other, devouring the stories, and even coming up with their own from time to time.
Kathryn sighed and said, “I do, but I can’t concentrate. All I can think about is Jack… I hate it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“You’re in love,” Raegan simply stated and went back to reading her book. Kathryn should’ve expected that sort of answer from her. Raegan was what she considered to be a romantic. Despite being a very smart girl, she always seemed to have her head in the clouds, her mind filled with stories and music.
Besides, what did Raegan know about love? She had never been courted before- at least, no that Kathryn knew of. She was always shy around men. So how could someone like that be familiar with it?
“Don’t be ridiculous, Raegan. I’m infuriated with the very thought of Jack. How can that be love?”
Without looking up from her book, Raegan easily pointed out, “Well, look at the reason as to why you’re mad at him. Weren’t you saying earlier this month that you could honestly see him being the person you could wake up next to every morning? If love wasn’t a factor in that little insight, you wouldn’t be so upset about him distancing himself from you.”
Her friend did have a point, and while Kathryn was stubborn, she was always able to see when a person was right. “Yeah, well it doesn’t matter anymore. I was clearly wrong in assuming that would happen. Besides, who needs men? I know I can get by alone just fine.”
Raegan closed her book and slowly shook her head. “Don’t give up hope on Jack. He might actually surprise you. He’s a smart boy. Who knows what’ll happen. It is Christmas, after all.”
“One more, please,” Jack muttered as he slammed the empty mug on the table. The pub was completely empty except for him, the bartender, and the drunken old man passed out in the corner.
“Scratch that, Joe. I think he’s had enough,” came the all too familiar voice of Spot Conlon. Jack sighed as the fearless leader of Brooklyn took a seat next to him. “Long time, no see, eh Jacky-boy?”
Jack picked up his pencil and continued on his current drawing in the sketchbook Kathryn had given to him for his birthday a little over a month earlier- the last time he had seen Spot. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. You disappeared for a while.”
“I had some business to take care of.” Spot order a mug of beer. Something was different about him. He still looked and acted the same, but instead of the cold stare he gave everyone, there was a twinkle in his eyes. “And it seems like you haven’t been around much either, lately. Race has told me you’ve been actin’ real strange lately. So, what’s going on?”
For a moment, Jack thought about lying, but then decided against it seeing as Spot could see through any lie in a second. He was brilliant at reading people.
“You want the truth?” Jack asked as he stopped drawing.
Spot stared at him blankly as he relied, “No. I just asked you what was going on to hear a bed time story…”
Jack couldn’t help but smile at his friend’s deadpanned response. He should’ve known that was a stupid question to ask in the first place. Spot rarely took interest in things that didn’t involve him, so when he did, it was a good idea to tell him all of the nitty gritty details of what was going on.
“I’ve got this feeling that I can’t describe, and it won’t go away, and it’s terrifying-“
“You ain’t going soft on me, are you?”
Jack punched Spot on the arm. “No way! C’mon Spot, I’m being serious here.”
“Alright, alright! Go on. This particular feeling couldn’t have to do with that certain reporter you’re drawing right now, could it?”
They both glanced down at the sketchpad at the almost completed picture of Kathryn, sitting down with her pad and pen, jotting down a review. The heavy sigh from Jack answered Spot’s question.
“That was the first night I realized I loved her…” Jack mumbled. “It just keeps on replaying in my mind. I feel so pathetic, Spot. How is it that I let her get under my skin, and not some other girl we always see? I can’t stop thinking about her, but every time I think about paying her a visit, I run the other way. She deserves someone better than some street-rat who occasionally gets illustrations published in the paper-“
“You’re right, Jack. Pathetic.” Jack opened his mouth to protest, but Spot cut him off once more. “Not that you’re in love- that happens to even the best of us-, but that you’re just giving up. That’s not the Jack Kelly I know. And you seriously underestimate Kathryn. Do you honestly think she cares how rich or successful you are? She’s absolutely crazy for you, and you’d be a fool to just throw that all away. Take me and Raegan, for example-“
“Wait,” Jack interrupted, “you and Raegan?”
“Yeah, yeah. Say anything about it, and I’ll soak you.”
Jack tried to hold back his laughter and grinned at his friend. “Sorry, it’s just I never thought you’d become interested and attached to just one girl.”
“You and me both.” Spot took a sip of his beer.
“When did this happen?”
By now, Spot was grinning like a fool. “Remember that huge celebration Medda threw after the strike was over, and Kathryn introduced us all to Raegan? Well, I remember she paid me no attention, which is strange because girls usually throw themselves at me-“
Jack rolled his eyes at Spot’s proud attitude, but he knew it was true.
“-Well, that irked me, so I set out to get her affection and then figured I’d just drop it once I did, and I offered to walk her back to her home after the celebration. Well, each day, I’d make a point of stopping by and bringing her a pape, and eventually she warmed up to me. After a month of doing that, I had sort of looked forward to that point of my day, and then everything just sort of came together.”
It was interesting to see Spot like that. To see someone who only looks out for the interest of himself and of his newsies to fall hard for a girl and care for her. As much as he liked Spot, he never believed him capable of doing that.
“Anyways, like I was saying, her father told me to back off, that she needed someone who could provide for her, and that I wasn’t that person. Did I give up then? No, I didn’t. I took it upon myself to prove to her father that I could be that person. Now, I’ve got enough money saved up, and an apartment where we can live, all that’s left is her father’s blessing. Now, you’re lucky and probably don’t have to do that since old man Pulitzer probably doesn’t have a say in Kathryn’s life, so you’ve got it easy. Don’t you give up now.”
Jack was dumbfounded. Was this really the same newsie who had a different girl every day and didn’t see anything outside of being a newsie and basically the king of New York?
‘Maybe he does have a point,’ Jack thought as he stared down at his drawing. He had to do something.
The tapping sound against the window of the library woke Kathryn up from her dozing off at the typewriter. She turned to look out the portrait window to see Jack standing out in the side garden, visibly shivering from the cold. Anger flared up inside of her chest, but it was quickly replaced with worry as she thought about him freezing out there.
Quickly, she opened up the window and motioned him inside. “What do you think you’re doing here in the middle of the night? You have some nerve….” She slammed the window shut behind him and brushed the snow off of her.
Without warning, Jack took her in his arms and kissed her. For a moment, she remained stiff in his arms in shock before she melted into the warmth of his arms.
“I’m sorry for everything,” he said as he pulled away. “I was afraid I wouldn’t be enough for you- that I wasn’t good enough for you. I was an idiot-“
“Yeah you were,” she piped in and got a playful glare from him.
“And I realized that Christmas is a time to spend with the one you love the most, and not just Christmas, every single day after that, and well, that person is you… and I was hoping you’d sort of feel the same way…” he trailed off and nervously bit his lip as he waited for her response.
“Of course I do,” she answered, her smile growing even wider than before. It would be a good Christmas after all.