Newsies was (and maybe still is?) the perfect starter fandom. So friendly, so committed to inclusion, so full of singing dancing slashy newsboys. It was also a multishippers’ paradise—many fics featured more than one pairing, and authors frequently wrote for more than just their own OTP. As a starter fandom, Newsies attracted a lot of young writers, which means fic quality varied. But the best of the fics—hopefully represented by the ones collected here—capture the possibilities and undercurrents and the quirks of character that make the pairings click. We wrote about the boys as of-age teens, as young men, as middle-aged men. Their dynamic is ageless, their context easy to overlay onto an modern AU, their futures easy to expand and elaborate. We were tiny but mighty in the early 2000s, with respectable fic count representation on FF.Net and our own archive over at The Refuge, which hosted regular fic challenges and exchanges as well as happening discussion boards. I took to calling it the little fandom that could—we just kept chugging along despite our canon material being nearly twenty years old. Newsies was my fandom home for years, and even after I wandered outside its walls I felt (and do feel, even now) that I could always return. Links here are to both FF.Net and The Refuge. The Refuge’s formatting has gone a bit wonky over the years, but the stories are still legible, but should that change, most fics are also available on FF.Net after a quick search.
Baseball Traditions by TheSecondBatgirl (modern AU, NC-17)
Summary: Blink and Mush are going off to college, and they’re worried about things changing. They remind each other that some things will never change.
It Just Won’t Quit by misprint (1899, PG-13)
Summary: And I never sleep anymore.
Matching Outfits for Him and Him: the Blush Manifesto by studentnumber24601
Summary: Blink/Mush is a pairing that most people like, but few hold as the OTP. But more should. This is why.
Standing Still by entropic order (modern AU, PG-13)
Summary: Sometimes, the results of compulsory physical education aren’t bad at all.
Before You Go by PoisonIvory (modern AU, NC-17)
Summary: efore Jack and David head off to college, there’s something they’ve gotta work out. It starts with socks and ends with sex. Which is much better. Unless you really like socks.
Early to Rise by theboysgonehome (1899, PG-13)
Summary: David would never understand Jack’s love of mornings.
Exuent by mosephy (modern AU, R)
Summary: David isn’t quite sure how it happened, but somewhere along the way, he thinks he fell in love with Jack Kelly.
Gents and Dames by studentnumber24601 (also features Blink/Racetrack, post-strike, R)
Summary: Gambling, debt, corrupt police, strippers, pinstriped suits, and fedoras. The year is 1911, and Jack’s back in New York for the first time in a decade. No one is happy to see him. [Guys and Dolls fusion.]
Hands Down by Shimmerwings (modern AU, NC-17)
Summary: A terrible day at work brings up memories for Jack. David helps him forget them. Contains grown-up Javid.
Having to Know to Understand by vampirespider (1899, PG)
Summary: As far as David knew, Jack never came just to visit Sarah and for some reason, he found that comforting.
(Imagine a) Brown Leather Wallet by Shimmerwings (1899, PG-13)
Summary: Jack and a future. “Imagine realizing that you’ve fallen in love.”
Jack Is by grim_lupine (1899, PG-13)
Summary: Jack is many, many things. David only cares about one of them.
Maternal Instinct by D-Mos (cracky modern AU, PG-13)
Summary: Javid mpreg. What more do you need?
Notes: Literally the only mpreg fic I’ve ever enjoyed. Laugh so hard.
Only Time of Day by misprint (post-strike, R)
Summary: Jack got on the train for Santa Fe and didn’t look back.
Notes: Fucking incredible. The heart-achingly hard future Jack and David would’ve had.
Proud and Defiant: The Jack/David Manifesto by PoisonIvory (meta)
Summary: “If we don’t stick together, we’re nothin’.” —Jack
Notes: If you (somehow) didn’t ship Jack and David before reading this, you will after.
The Sea Kings by ladililnn (pirate AU, PG-13)
Summary: Captain Jack Kelly and his merry crew of pirates are known to everyone the world over–except to David Jacobs, the son of a rich merchant trader. Soon, however, he gets to know the crew of The World quite intimately, when he is taken hostage and made to accompany this motely gang, which also includes the Fiercest Pirate Captain of the Seven Seas, Spot Conlon, on their quest to find the world’s most fabled treasure.
Notes: Cracky ridiculous WIP romp. Read what it exists for the laughs.
The Story Is Told by clio21000 (modern AU, R)
Summary: Their story takes months and years to unfold . . . Javid, with a little sadness, a little hotness, and modern Jacobs family members.
Tactile by Harmony (1899, R)
Summary: Awake in his bed, as the filtered moonlight carves shadows across his heaving chest, David Jacobs wipes his mind of grey tweed and starched linen.
Triage by Poison Ivory (modern AU, PG-13)
Summary: There’s only one person Jack runs to for comfort. “David’s voice was stern, but his hands were impossibly tender and his blue eyes concerned and searching. Jack began to feel a little dizzy, maybe from blows to the head. He hoped.
Watermelon by PoisonIvory (modern AU, PG-13)
Summary: Jack and David have a request of Sarah; she’s not sure she can say yes. “The words hung in her head, not unlike splotches of color she’d see after staring at a light and closing her eyes; she couldn’t quite rid herself of them nor catch and thus comprehend them.”
Wordless by grim_lupine (1899, PG-13)
Summary: David has words; he controls them effortlessly; they do his bidding.
Notes: LOVE the take on Jack’s take of David here. Headcanon’d it immediately. Subtle. Sexy. Brilliant.
All That Remains by Lielabell (1899, NC-17)
Summary: Spot and Race’s relationship grows and changes over the years. (1896–1900)
Behind Blue Eyes by clio21000 (college AU, NC-17)
Summary: Racetrack knows his senior year of college will be challenging, but he has no idea just who and what he’ll be up against. It all begins when he meets his new roommate, Sean . . .
Everything You’ve Done Wrong by sloanne (modern AU, R)
Summary: Racetrack’s father is in the mafia, and it colors his whole life. Slash, drugs and rock’n’roll.
There Ought to Be Clowns by QuinFirefrorefiddle (1899, PG-13)
Summary: Conlon and Higgins meet for lunch on Thursdays. Always Thursdays.
Faithless Child by Falco Conlon (Jack/Spot friendship, 1899, PG-13)
Summary: You’re faithless,” Jack said listlessly. “You’re drunk,” Spot said in response.
In New York by Falco Conlon (Spot-centric gen, 1899, PG-13)
Summary: Spot was no longer the overblown boy hero of a ragtag bunch of Brooklyn newsies. After the strike, offers had started to come in. Political groups wanted him, The Dead Rabbits, Tammany Hall, they all wanted him.
In the Alley by The SecondBatgirl (Jack/Spot, 1899, PG-13)
Summary: Love wasn’t something that Spot Conlon had to give.
Jerk by clio21000 (David/Mush, NC-17)
Summary: clio21000 was testing out the pairing after a discussion on the Refuge boards. She came up with post-breakup drunken hookup as a possible in.
Savoir Faire by PolyesterRage (Jack/David/Spot, 1899, PG-13)
Summary: A short series of drabbles centered around Jack, David, and Spot.
Snowfall by Falco Conlon (modern AU, PG-13)
Summary: It was very apparent that Spot Conlon did not share Race’s faith in a higher being and getting him to compromise could prove to be impossible. That was the thing about dating Spot, he came accompanied with a whole lot of pride.
A Storm Rolls in Brooklyn by QuinFirefrorefiddle (Jack/Spot, 1899, PG-13)
Summary: Brooklyn never fumbled.
Wanting To, but Not Knowing How by Falco Conlon (Jack/Spot, 1899, PG)
Summary: It isn’t that he hates Jack Kelly, he’s decided, it’s more that he loves him, if that makes any sense. But that’s why he would rather fight with Kelly than talk, rather punch him than converse, because he loves him.
With Me Tonight by Shimmerwings (Blushtrack, modern AU, NC-17)
Summary: Tony just wants to drink himself into oblivion. Michael and Alex have a better idea.