Jack couldn’t help but look amused, even if he couldn’t understand the Italian, it sounded interesting, “Not much, I read, help the guy who runs the lodgin’ house with a few things,” he ignored the comment about Rosetta sneaking behind their backs, he had nothing to say on it, he smiled when Rosetta came in, relieved she brought the food, hoping they’d be too busy eating to interrogate him anymore.

Rosetta quickly returned with four more plates, setting them in front of Jack, her mother, Naomi, and her nephew. She ducked back inside to grab her own plate, and slipped into her seat between Jack and Salvatore. She looked down at her mother, who glanced quickly around the table before folding her hands and bowing her head. The rest of the family followed suit.

Oh Signore ci benedica, e questi tuoi doni, che ci apprestiamo a ricevere, dalla tua bontà, per mezzo di Cristo, Nostro Signore. Amen.” Her mother led the prayer, with the family murmuring along and joining in fully on the amen. Once the prayer was done, everyone looked up and began to eat.

"Oh, Rosetta." Mr. Valentini looked up and raised an eyebrow at her. "Luisa told us an interesting story about your day yesterday."

"Oh?" Rosetta coughed and directed her attention to her plate. "Did she? Hmm, couldn’t have possibly been as interesting as she said, she has an imagination, you know—"

"And then the paper this morning said something about a bank robbery and a hostage situation. Did you see that story, Jack?" Mr. Valentini talked over her, continuing his train of thought. Rosetta flushed and started stabbing her potatoes with her fork. She had avoiding telling her family about her day, but she should have known Luisa wouldn’t have been able to keep her mouth shut.

((“Bless us Oh Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”))

(Source: rosettadarling)


“Well I work for T’World Newspaper, sellin’ papers,” Jack answered the first one, then looked when the other was shot at him, “Well, I…” he frowned, not sure how to explain exactly how it worked, “Ya find a spot, and you get to decide how many papahs ya wanna sell, so it’s all up to you, I push about a hundred a day, so that’s a dollar a day, not countin’ tips,” he fired the explination out just in time to hear Alejandro mutter, then his mother’s reply, “I don’ think ya mudda approves,” he said, grinning.

“It’s nothin’ too bad, I live at the Newsboys Lodgin’ House with most of the other boys, I’m up early t’get the papers, and sell the mornin’ and afternoon editions, when I do that it’s usually about 2 bucks a day if I sell 100 both afternoon and mornin’. I do get t’spend most of my time outside, so that’s a perk I guess.” He was shocked he’d been able to answer all the questions, especially at the speed they were firing them at him. And he hoped his replies were alright.

"Hmm." Mr. Valentini nodded from where he’d sat silently, listening to the questions and Jack’s replies. "So you work hard. That’s good." He crossed his arms over his chest and cast a glance over at the kitchen door. "Rosetta, sbrigati con la cena! A meno che non volete che i vostri fratelli mantenere interrogare questo ragazzo, poi con tutti i mezzi, prenditi il tuo tempo.”

Ho fretta, Papi!” was the shouted response.

Sebastiano chuckled and looked over at Leonardo, who was laughing too. Alejandro looked up from his plate to Jack, and grinned. “No, Mami doesn’t approve. She wants me to be a doctor.”

"And you should listen to Mami and be a doctor because Seb and I are the biggest disappointments, since we’re not successful like that." Leonardo winked at his little brother, then glanced up at the kitchen, as if to check how long it would be before Rosetta brought in dinner. "Well, what do you do with your spare time? Besides convince my little sister to sneak around behind her family’s back—"

"Leonardo!" Rosetta pushed her way out of the kitchen door with four dinner plates balanced on her arms to glare at her brother. If looks could kill, Leonardo would no longer be able to interrogate Jack. "Giuro su Dio, se non farlo cadere io vado a mettere del veleno per topi nel vostro dessert. Non pensare che io non voglio!”

Mr. Valentini sighed. “Rosetta, stop threatening your brother. We don’t have rat poison.”

"Well, you didn’t have to tell him that." Rosetta rolled her eyes and moved to set plates down in front of her father and brothers. She set Leonardo’s down a little harder than necessary, which earned her a glare and sharp "Rosetta!" from her mother.

Leonardo snorted, but quickly said, “Sorry, Rosa. Carina? Tesoro? Dolceina, gattina, passerota—”

"Shut it, Leo." Rosetta wrinkled her nose and headed back into the kitchen to get the rest of the plates.

((“Rosetta, hurry up with dinner! Unless you want your brothers to keep interrogating this boy, then by all means, take your time.”  “I’m hurrying, Papi!”  “I swear to God, if you don’t drop it I am going to put rat poison in your dessert. Don’t think I won’t!”  “Cutie? Darling? Little sweet, little cat, little sparrow—”))

(Source: rosettadarling)



“Yes,” the teller agreed. “They print more money every day, but you kids are somethin’ special.”

Blondie looked around the room. “I guess we need to be going. I was supposed to be back hours ago.” She smiled at all of them. “Hopefully the next time we meet it will be under better circumstances.”

Levi nodded, trying to wake Charley up, but the boy wouldn’t budge. Instead, Levi just decided to piggyback him back to the Bronx. After what had happened, he wanted to make sure Danielle reached home safely anyway. Charley held on with his left arm, his right arm in a sling, and went back to sleep.

Ernesto smiled and nodded at them. “Definitely. Nice to see you all.” he said, then looking over to Luisa. “See? I told you everything would be okay!” he said with a smile. Dante chuckled. 

“Oh dear..Izzy is gonna think we ditched her for dinner..” Dante said, Ernesto shook his head and laughed. 

“I think if we could handle some gunmen, we could handle our little sister.” Ernesto laughed, ruffling Dante’s hair. 

“Well, we should head out. Stay safe, nice to meet you all!” Ernesto waved, walking out of the bank with his brother and heading to find Sassy.

Luisa looked up and over at Ernesto and grinned, giggling slightly. “Yeah!” She waved to them with one hand, not willing to let go of Rosetta.

Rosetta laughed, standing and managing to manuever Luisa so the girl was just holding her legs. “Yes, hopefully next time we see each other, there won’t be guns pointed at our heads.” She looked down at Luisa and stroked her hair. “Come on, sweetie, I’ll buy you some candy and ice cream.” She looked up and waved to the others as she walked out. “Get home safe!”

Coffee chuckled, nodding in agreement. “Yeah. Stop by Coney Island, it’s much safer there.” She waved to the others and winked at Luisa before she headed out the door. It was a long walk back to Coney, hopefully she hadn’t worried anyone.



“We could’ve met under better circumstances, but it’s good to meet you guys, too.” Blondie said, laughing a bit.

When they got back to the bank, Charley was all bandaged up and asleep on the couch.

“Thank the heavens you kids are all okay,” the bank teller said, relieved to see them all in one piece. “Did the robbers get away?”

Dante nodded to the teller. “Unfortunately, yes.” he said to him, and as horrible that it was that the bank robbers took all the money that they did, it was good that they were all safe and sound. 

When they arrived back at the bank, Luisa let out and excited squeal and ran at her aunt, who knelt to embrace the little girl who flew into her arms. “I’m okay, I’m okay Lulu!” She looked up at the others and smiled, evidently relieved.

Coffee nodded in agreement with Dante. “But at least everyone’s alive.”



“No problem,” Blondie said, smiling. “I’m Danielle by the way. But most people call me Blondie.” As she walked toward the road, she heard footsteps in the gravel of the road, thinking it was the robbers again. Her heart skipped a beat, but then she saw Levi and the others. “Levi!” She ran to her brother and hugged him.

Levi saw her coming and smiled, hugging her back tightly. “I’m glad you three are alright. Where are the guys that held up the bank?”

Charley was relieved when the doctor finally got the bullet out and sat still while the guy patched him up. He was extremely tired from blood loss, but other than that he would be just fine.

Dante nodded. “I’m Dante. Nice to meet you both.” he smiled, then turning his head when Blondie ran to Levi. He grinned as he saw Ernesto, walking over to him.

Ernesto walked at a little quicker of a pace, grinning at his brother. “Dante! You guys are okay?” he said, looking at the other two as well. 

"Rosetta. And yeah, pleasure to meet you." Rosetta smiled and turned to look where Blondie was running, her smile growing at the sight of the others. "The robbers left, off that way." She gestured vaguely in the direction the men had gone.

Coffee walked up behind Levi and Ernesto, grinning at the three others. “Damn, I was really looking forward to sinking some knife blades into them. How disappointing.” She laughed and smiled at Rosetta. “Your niece is back in the bank with the teller and Charley. Do you want a hug?”

Rosetta smiled in relief. “Thank you. And sure, why not?” Laughing, she walked forward to hug Coffee.


Jack laughed, being put at ease by Naomi, “Nice t’meet you too,” he said, returning the smile, “Maybe there’s hope for me then?” he said. Jack stared at the chair, feeling a bit awkward about what he should do now. He looked between the chair, and the other room, and watched what everyone else was doing, finally deciding to sit down. With shaking hands, he pulled the chair out, sitting down and looking the tableware over, trying to distract himself the best he could from his nerves. 

The Valentini’s seemed like good people, he knew he had nothing to worry about, but he just couldn’t help it. He hadn’t been this nervous with Sarah, but the Jacobs had known him prior to that. All they knew was he was a newsie, and he knew most people didn’t like that. 

Rosetta took a deep breath before starting to serve out the food onto plates in the kitchen, in different proportions for each person. More for her brothers, Jack, and father, a tiny bit for her nephew, medium amount for her mother, and slightly less for her and Naomi. She was straining her ears to hear what was going on in the dining room, nervous for Jack.

The family sat in silence for a few minutes, the only noise being Naomi getting Salvatore settled in his chair between her and Rosetta’s empty chair. Then Sebastiano coughed and asked, “So, Jack, what do you do with yourself?”

Leonardo cut in with, “Rosa’s told us you’re a newsie, but what is it you do for that?”

Alejandro muttered to his plate, “I think being a newsie would be swell, not like school—” but he was cut off with a sharp reply from his mother.

Potrete andare a scuola! Essere un newsie o qualunque cosa faccia c’è futuro per voi. Non newsies diventare avvocati? Medici? Io non la penso così!”

"Anyway…" Sebastiano quickly moved away from his mother’s short rant. "How much do you earn, Jack? We don’t exactly know what goes on in the life of a newsie."

"Now, Seb, that isn’t very polite to ask—" Naomi’s gentle rebuke was cut off a look from her husband, and she quickly looked down to take a drink of water.

In the kitchen, Rosetta set the ladle of gravy down and pinched the bridge of her nose. Good Lord, she was going to murder her older brothers.

((“You will stay in school! Being a newsie or whatever he does is no future for you. Do newsie become lawyers? Doctors? I don’t think so!”))

(Source: rosettadarling)



Blondie nodded, waiting until the men were out of sight and reaching into her right pocket, which was a quite a hassle to say the least, and pulling out her butterfly knife. She set to work on the ropes that bound them and in a few moments had them all free. “There we go.” Pocketing the knife, she stood up and brushed herself off.

Dante stretched slightly as he was released from the restrictions. “Thanks.” he said, giving a nod to Blondie. He brushed himself off and looked around. “What should we do now? Get ourselves back to the city?” he asked.

Rosetta smiled in relief when Blondie cut away the ropes, and she nodded to Dante. “That seems like the best thing, I have to get back to Luisa as soon as I can….” She trailed off, and bit her lip. “God, I hope she’s all right. Thank you, by the way, for cutting us free.” She smiled at Blondie gratefully.


Jack had a deer in the headlights moment when he saw everyone sitting there staring at him, he was polite and nodded to each of them as Rosetta introduced them. He felt like clinging to the door facing, or hiding behind Rosetta, but he was determined to go through this smoothly, and without making a fool of himself in the process. When he heard the woman behind him he nearly jumped out of his skin. Not knowing if he should be worried about not understanding her or not. He turned back to the room filled with people, swallowing before speaking, his mouth feeling really dry, “It’s a pleasure t’meet all of ya,” embarassed for a moment by his accent. 

Rosetta reached over to grab Jack’s hand, not caring what her family might say.

Her father narrowed his eyes for a moment, then nodded. “It’s nice to meet you as well.” The young men in the living room nodded in somewhat agreement, and Naomi smiled at Jack.

La cena è pronta, vieni in sala da pranzo. Rosetta, si sta servendo.” With that, her mother turned to head back into the dining room and Rosetta moved quickly, so that she and Jack were no longer in the way and the family could proceed them out of the living room.

Under her breath, she quickly explained to Jack, “Mami understands English perfectly, but she refuses to speak it. So we usually speak Italian at home. I’ll translate if I need to—”

She stopped talking when Naomi paused in front of them. “It’s very nice to meet you, Jack.” She smiled. “And don’t worry, the Valentini’s didn’t like me when I first started seeing Seb, since his mother didn’t handpick me. But they warmed up to me by the time he married me.” She laughed softly, then turned to call to her son. “Sal, dinner.” She turned her gaze back to Jack and Rosetta. “They like Theresa’s husband much better. Anyway, it will be fine.” With that, she continued into the dining room.

Rosetta smiled after her, then looked up at Jack. “You’ll be sitting between Papi and me. I have to serve dinner….” She trailed off, then squeezed his hand and smiled. “Like Naomi said, it’ll be fine.” She released Jack’s hand and led the way into the dining room where the rest of the family was seated. She pointed Jack to his seat, then veered into the kitchen to get the plates ready to serve.

((“Dinner is ready, come into the dining room. Rosetta, you’re serving.”))

(Source: rosettadarling)



The doctor was trying to remove the bullet from Charley’s shoulder as delicately as possible, but it still hurt like hell. Charley clenched his teeth, but didn’t complain.

“I’m okay, too,” Blondie said, nodding. She was glad that they were both alright, and she knew they could make it out of this now. It was a shame the guys might get away with all that money, but their survival was far more important than currency.

“You’re welcome,” the bank teller said pleasantly, smiling. He cringed a bit on the inside when the doctor was removing the bullet, wishing he could have prevented the kid from getting hurt in the first place.

Dante nodded his head. “That’s good, glad you both are okay. That was definitely…scary, to say the least, I guess. At least everyone is alright.” he somewhat rambled, struggling slightly in the ropes that held him.

Luisa squeezed her eyes shut so she didn’t have to watch the doctor dig the bullet from Charley’s shoulder, but she continued to lick her lollipop.

Rosetta nodded to Dante, but she couldn’t think of anything to say in response. She wanted to get back to the city as soon as possible.


"Okay, I can do this, I mean, I ain’t too bad, I can do polite." Jack said, building up his confidence to go in there, "Do I look alright?" he asked, looking himself up and down, he’d worn his best, but he was still worried it wasn’t good enough. 

"You’re very polite. And yes, you look great." Rosetta smiled and reached up to smooth the lapel of his coat for a moment. She hugged him quickly again before turning to open the door of the apartment and lead Jack into the living room. She stood by the archway to the dining room with Jack, hesitantly waiting until her family noticed her presence. "Papi? This is Jack Kelly. Jack, this is my father," a clearly Italian man of about sixty who sat on the couch, "my brother Alejandro," a fourteen year old boy with dark hair who sat on the piano bench, "my brother Leonardo," a nineteen year old boy with dark blonde hair who sat next to her father on the couch, "my brother Sebastiano and his wife Naomi," a twenty two year old man with dark hair and his twenty year old wife, who had black hair in a sleek bun, who both sat on the other couch, "and my nephew, Salvatore. Or Sal." A two year old boy who sat on the floor, playing with blocks.

There was a light cough behind them, and Rosetta whirled and moved aside to allow a short, curvy Italian woman of about fifty to move past her into the living room. “And my mother. Mami, this is Jack Kelly—”

Ho indovinato, Rosetta.”

Rosetta looked down. “Mi dispiace, Mami.”

((“I guessed, Rosetta.”  “I’m sorry, Mami.”))

(Source: rosettadarling)