UNBELIEVABLE | PART THREE
RACE X READER
PREVIOUSLY: “‘Seeya tomorrow, partner.’ He grinned, walking away I took a few moments to compose myself before going to join Davey and Crutchie, all the while thinking if the way he’d been looking at me.”
A/N: this took so long oh dear,,,, sorry? i’ve been having some trouble lately. this is kind of boring, but i’m all about a good slow burn :) it’s not my best and i feel like it’s shorter too, but i’m working on planning out some of the upcoming parts so i don’t have as much trouble writing them. hope you enjoy !!
I spent that night Katherine’s again, but I was out the door before she was even awake. I used some of her more effective methods to pin up my hair and wrap my breasts, happy with the way it had turned out. When I got to the news stand they still hadn’t put up the headline, but many of the boys were already waiting. I spotted Crutchie and went over to him, sitting beside him. He smiled at me and slightly tipped his hat, making me grin back.
“This is gonna be hard,” he said quietly. “Now that I know youse can talk and I still can’t talk to ya.” I shrugged and gave him a sympathetic look. We sat in silence, watching as some of the other boys goofed off. Eventually, Crutchie had to get up to go settle a dispute between a few newsies. He was only gone for a minute before someone had sat down in his place.
“Mornin’ Mute, how’d ya sleep?” I looked up to find Race smirking down at me. I shrugged as a response, trying to keep my cheeks from going red. It was a lot damn harder not to get flustered around him now that he kept looking at me like I was his next meal. At least I knew my voice had no opportunity to betray me.
We both looked up as the rest of the boys began to remark about the headline. It was some story about a disease going around in a neighboring state, which was definitely something that could be sold easily. In line, Race took my money and paid for our papes together. As I walked by I could feel the Delanceys glaring at me and did my best to ignore it. I let out a small sigh of relief as Race and I headed out for the day.
We got a few buyers on our way to our usual area, all of them giving the same horrified expression as Race announced that a ‘deadly disease’ was ‘bound for New York.’ He grinned at me proudly every time he sold a pape and it was one of the most adorable things I’d ever seen. He was definitely doing it on purpose, he had to be.
“Buy a paper, Miss?” He asked an older woman passing by. She smiled kindly at us as I held out a paper to her.
“Oh, I don’t know…” She definitely didn’t seem to want to buy one, but Race was persistent.
“Don’t ya want to read about the disease that’s been spreadin’?” He grinned charmingly. Her eyes widened and she handed him money quickly,grabbing the paper from my outstretched hand. As she walked away, I spotted a woman with a younger boy I assumed was her son. I walked over to them with papers in hand. By the time I was standing in front of them the woman was smiling kindly at me, but she was hesitant. I held the paper out to her, acting timid. She gave a confused look at my lack of words/
“My partner here,” Race walked up behind me, beginning to explain. “He can’t speak, and he cant afford an education ta learn dem fancy sign language, either.” The woman’s face contorted with pity as she glanced at her own son.
“Here, take a dime,” she smiled at me. I took it slowly, pretending to stare at it in awe as she took the pape. Whenever we were in a situation like this I always acted like I was younger, and faked being surprised at any small act of kindness. It helped them feel like they’d done something good rather than fall for a trick, and that meant selling more papes.
“And that is why you are the perfect selling partner,” Race whispered from behind me. His breath was tickling my neck and I tried my best to keep my breathing normal at his close proximity. I would get used to this, eventually. I had to, otherwise I was in trouble.
We continued selling for the rest of the day, able to get ride of our papes pretty quickly by spreading stories of the disease that was ‘certain to be the cause of mass death in New York.’ When we finally sold the last pape, I was starving. From the way he stared longingly though the windows of restaurants and diners we passed, I could tell Race was too. I hit his arm to catch his attention and pointed at a stand selling fruits. he nodded and walked over while I waited for him.
He returned with two apples and we walked while eating them. Before we were done, we reached the alleyway that I had used to escape the Delancey brothers. Race had shown it to me on our very first day of selling together. We ducked into it and sat beside each other, leaning against one of the brick walls.
“Does it make this weird for you?” I blurted out while we were eating in silence. Race turned to me with a confused look and I sighed. “Me being a girl - does it make this weird for you?”
“Course not,” He smirked. I could tell in an instant that he was about to flirt with me again. in order to save my dignity, I spoke up again before he could.
“So it doesn’t change anything between us?” His smirk grew wider and even more cocky at my words, if even possible.
“Well, I wouldn’t say that.” He was leaning closer to me, and it was occurring to me that we were in an alley alone. And, really, how well did I know this boy? Definitely not well enough to be allowing him to get this close when there was no one around to hear if something happened.
“It’s getting dark,” I stood up, brushing off my pants. “We should be heading back.” I looked down to see him still sitting, slightly bewildered. I could understand why - a girl who blushed every time he grinned at her at just blatantly denied the chance of him kissing her. I felt guilt flood me at the thought of having led him on.
He stood up and we started walking, a rather uncomfortable silence falling between us. We made it all the way back to the lodge without saying a word. I was slightly worried that I had wounded his pride and he wouldn’t want to keep selling with me, but at the same time it was ridiculous of him to think that. He’d only even known that I was a girl for a little over a day. He didn’t know me at all, and it wasn’t like he’d been opening up to me while he still thought I was a boy. We were still basically strangers.
And strangers definitely should not be kissing in dark alleys all alone at night. Not as long as one of those strangers was me.