All I've Got || A Broadway Newsies Fanfiction

"He's all I've got. I don't know what I'd do without him." The Delancey brothers never asked for help from anyone. (Runner up in the "Carve the Mark" Competition. Newsies belongs to Disney. Cover created by slytherinprincess16.)

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7. Coward

Oscar followed the newsies as they walked into Tibby's, a small and cozy little restaurant that he often saw them hanging around in. They greeted the owner happily and picked their tables, sitting close together and waiting for their menus. Oscar stood in a corner, watching awkwardly as he tried to decide where to sit. He decided on a small, empty table far away from the newsies. He hid his face behind his hat, not wanting the owner or any of the workers to see who he was. His reputation wasn't exactly a positive one with them.

"Oscar, come sit with us!" Specs called, standing up and waving at the isolated teen. Oscar's head snapped up and he looked at the owner with wide eyes. He hadn't even flinched at the mention of the Delancey brother's name, and had continued cleaning the counter like he had when the newsies first arrived. Oscar hesitated slightly before nodding and joining Specs, Race, Jack, Crutchie, and Romeo at their table. He sat in the empty seat next to Race, shifting uncomfortably and feeling extremely out of place.

"How is Morris doin', Oscar?" Romeo suddenly asked, turning from where he had been talking to Crutchie and looking at Oscar with curiosity. All conversation at the table seemed to quiet down and Oscar ducked his head. "He's doin' betta, don't know how long it'll be 'til he's good as new, though," Oscar muttered. Romeo smiled in understanding, patting Oscar on the shoulder and turning back to Crutchie. The latter kept stealing glances at Oscar, glaring at him and ever shivering slightly in fear a few times. Oscar understood why, of course. Oscar and Morris were the ones that got Crutchie stuck in the Refuge. "Forgive and forget" was easier said than done.

"You okay? Ya don' look so good," Jack commented, noting Oscar's pale face and clenched fists. Oscar blinked and sighed, flexing his hands slightly and rubbing his temple in both exhaustion and annoyance. "I's fine. Ya don't need to-" Oscar stopped short, going rigid as he spotted three very familiar looking men entering the small restaurant. His breath caught in his throat as they sat at the table right next to theirs, chatting casually as if the events that took place two days ago never happened.

"Oscar? Oscar, what's wrong?" It was Specs this time, and he looked worried. Oscar shot to his feet as one of the three men, the one that had stabbed his brother, turned to face him. He grinned at him with wide lips and rotting, yellow teeth. A mop of scraggly brown hair sat on top of his head as if it was just barely staying on. Race had grabbed Oscar's wrist and was talking to him, but Oscar didn't hear anything. He just stared at his brother's attacker, and the attacker stared right back at Oscar.

"T-That's him," Oscar managed to squeak out. Race immediately shut up and followed Oscar's gaze, his eyes narrowing as they fell on the three men. "I'd know dem boys anywhere. They's from Brooklyn. A couple a lowlifes that beat and rob kids for the fun of it," Race growled, his grip on Oscar's wrist tightening. Oscar was shaking, fear rushing through his veins and making his heart pound in his ears. He had told himself he would kill the men who hurt Morris when he found them, but he was too afraid. He was a coward.

"They's the ones who attacked Morris?" Jack asked, his gaze fixed on the three men now as well. Oscar managed to nod, twisting his hand out of Race's grip and backing away so fast he nearly knocked over a chair. Oscar saw a few of the newsies get to their feet. The man was still giving him that chilling smile, and Oscar knew he'd been recognized. He was trembling, his eyes wide as he clamped a hand over his mouth to keep from screaming. All he could think about was the knife, the blood, his brother's screams...

"Oscar, calm down! You gotta breath!" Specs said desperately. He'd gotten up from the table as he saw Oscar go into panic mode and had grabbed him by the shoulders, shaking him hard and trying to get him to come back to the real world. Oscar, not really knowing what he was doing, clung to the front of Specs' shirt and began gasping for air. The other teen stopped shaking him, holding him still and trying to calm him down.

"They're gone now, Oscar. They left. It's alright," Specs soothed, squeezing Oscar's shoulders gently and resisting the urge to hug him. They weren't that close yet; Oscar wouldn't want that kind of comfort from the bespectacled boy. Oscar's breathing had slowed and become more regulated. He closed his eyes and buried his head in his hands, shaking his head and groaning in disbelief. He was a coward.

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