Whatever Happened to Dodger?

DISCLAIMER: Believe it or not, I am not Charles Dickens. gasp Sorry to disappoint all of you. I assure you that most of these characters and some of the plot belongs to him, wherever he may be buried.

A/N: I've been thinking about writing this story for weeks, but I haven't actually done anything about it until now (obviously). I don't know how far I will get because I hear it's really hard to keep writing fan fiction when you're not getting any reviews and I happen to know that stories like this don't usually get many reviews. People would much rather be reading about Harry Potter and whatnot. Not that I can blame them. I read a lot of Harry Potter fan fiction when I can't find anything else to do.

Well, this is no Harry Potter story. So, if that's what you were looking for you can just bug off. This is based on Oliver Twist, but since I am no Charles Dickens I cannot promise that it will end up being as good as the original. I basically wrote this because I was bored and I had off of school due to the hurricane that never came. I am a huge Dickens fan and Oliver Twist just happens to be my favorite book by him. I will tell you now so that there are no questions about it in the future that my favorite character is definitely Dodger. I really like the musical, Oliver!, and I think that Jack Wild was quite possibly one of the best Dodgers ever. And that is why this fan fiction is about the Artful Dodger.

SUMMARY: Did you ever wonder what happened to the Dodger? Charles Dickens gladly tells us what happened to Oliver, Fagin, Charley, Nancy, and Bill, but what happened to that funny boy with the top hat who disappeared from the text around chapter 43? I hope this will clear up any questions you have and explain to you exactly what happened to the Artful Dodger.

Chapter 1: Going Home

It was a cold, cloudy morning on the docks. A young man of about eighteen years stood looking out at the boats.

So this is America? He thought. This is the country that everyone is suddenly flocking to?

He chuckled to himself. Well, if this was the so-called "Land of Opportunity" then he wanted to go home. He couldn't for the life of him understand what was so great about this giant chunk of land. It was cold. It was dull. The people were incredibly rude, and all he wanted was some help getting home.

He decided to try his luck one more time. He stopped an educated looking man as he passed by.

"Excuse me, sir," the young man began.

The man stopped and turned to see who had spoken. He raised his eyebrows at the boy, for he was a mere boy in the eyes of the elderly gentleman.

The young man took this as a sign to continue.

"Could you possibly tell me which of these ships is sailing to England?" he rushed for fear of losing his audience.

The man neither smiled nor spoke. He simply lifted his arm and pointed at a terribly dull looking ship into which men were loading crates and boxes for the long journey across the ocean. The young man smiled, but before he had the chance to thank the gentleman for his assistance the man had walked away without even a second glance.

The young man shrugged and headed towards the ship. In his excitement he barely even noticed that he had started jogging until was standing by the ship in question. Several of the sailors carrying crates stopped to look at him. He cleared his throat and approached one of the men.

"Where is this ship headed?" he asked trying to sound as curious as he possibly could.

"To the mother country," the man replied looking suspiciously at the boy. "Why?"

"No particular reason," he was becoming very excited now. Could he possibly be going home? "Where can I find the captain of this fine ship?"

The man raised his eyebrows and responded with a simple "On deck" before the young man ran up the plank and found himself on the deck. A man who was without a doubt the captain was standing not far away watching the men as they loaded the vessel. He obviously saw the young man as he stumbled on board and made his way over.

"How may I help you, good sir?" the kind captain asked.

"Please, sir, this ship, it sails to England, does it not?"

The captain nodded the affirmative.

"Well then, I am willing to work my way there aboard this ship if you will allow it. I need nothing in return, just a passage there."

The captain surveyed the boy.

"Have you ever worked aboard a ship?" he questioned.

"Yes, sir, I have," he responded quickly. "Once," he added as an afterthought.

He had, in fact, worked on a ship to get to America, hadn't he? He needn't tell the captain the details of that voyage.

"Am I to assume that you are a reliable hand?" the captain went on.

"Of course, sir, and if I do anything to upset you along the way you have my permission to keep me aboard and bring me back to this god forsaken country." He shuddered noticeably at the thought of having to live here for the rest of his life.

The captain laughed heartily at this and clapped the boy on the shoulder.

"I don't usually do this, take in a man off the street, but I like you, boy, so for you I'll make an exception. Welcome aboard, sailor!"

"Thank you, sir, thank you!" the young man repeated enthusiastically as he rung the older man's hand.

The captain laughed once again.

"There's only one thing I need to know before we set sail," he said.

The young man stopped suddenly hoping that the captain was not about to ask for his police records or something of the sort that could ruin his chances of ever getting home.

"What's that?" he asked.

"Your name."

The smile returned to the young man's face as he answered.

"My name's Jack Dawkins," he told the captain who then told him what to do.

The young man did as he was told in a sort of dreamlike manner. He was going home. He was finally going home.

After six years, the Artful Dodger was finally going home.

A/N: And that's it! That's the end of chapter 1. How is it? Is it terrible? Should I quit? I was getting rather tired of calling him "the young man". He will always be a boy in my mind. That's just who he is! I'm not expecting many reviews but I would like at least one before I put the next chapter up. Please? Just one? I can assure you that this author's note will get longer as the story progresses. I am also looking for a beta. If anyone is interested please contact me. Thanks! Chapter 2 should be up within the next week but I'm not promising anything. It depends on how many people want me to keep going I suppose. We'll see how things go.