A/N: So this is a songfic from Fagin's POV and Nancy's POV. Bold are Fagin, italics are Nancy, underlined are both and the normal are the song lyrics. The song is Stop and Stare by One Republic. It is set kinda book/kinda musical but whilst Oliver is with Mr. Brownlow and I don't own ANYTHING.
This town is colder now,
I think it's sick of us
Fagin had noticed the change in the way he was treated. Everyone scuttled away from him, like he was tainted. He didn't mind... Much. He had a miserly reputation – a miserly personality. But it was strange that Nancy and the gang seemed far away. Colder. Like they didn't want to know him anymore.
It's time to make our move,
I'm shaking off the rust
Nancy felt different. Strange. Fresher somehow. It was like some long lost purpose had been struck into her. A maternal instinct – something she had experienced slightly before, with the gang – had been stirred inside her, set alight by a timid little creature with frightened eyes.
I'm staring down myself,
Counting up the years
Fagin was older – visibly, and emotionally older. He felt tired, all the time. He made less frequent journeys to the pub. His age was noticeable when he compared himself to the gang – lively, energetic, enthusiastic. How old was he now... Sixty? When had he last had a birthday? Fagin realised he had no idea. He blamed Oliver – things had been normal until he had wandered in, and back out again.
Steady hands just take the wheel
Every glance is killing me
Time to make one last appeal
For the life I lead
It was almost like her life had been taken out of her hands now, and she was left with a soul. Not hers, but a soul worth saving. Oliver's. But then there was Bill – who she could not look at anymore, without shrivelling up inside. Fagin – who seemed to be trying to tack her to the life she led – cut off any escapes. The gang – almost blissfully unaware, but at the same time edging off, away. Nancy tried to pull away many times, but she couldn't. She couldn't leave them.
Stop and stare,
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Fagin's life was motionless – stuck in standstill. Like someone had thrown him into a glass box – he could see the world spinning outside – a breath away – and he was rooted to the ground. He felt like he was moving... Moving too fast... But when he looked back, it was always the same.
Yeah, I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be, oh
Nancy knew she wasn't alone when she felt fear bubbling up inside her. Fagin must have felt fear – he'd been alive so long. Bill still betrayed a flicker of emotion sometimes, when he was about to housebreak. The gang had seemed to be in a permanent state of terror ever since Oliver left, and Fagin and Bill got so angry...
Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there
Fagin felt like whole chunks of his life were missing him somehow. Why did Nancy scurry away from him? How did the gang get so bruised? Why was Fagin sitting here? In the den? Why was he not with the people who had left him a long time ago, somewhere far, far away. He needed time to stop, and examine his life, but time could never be found, and yet... And yet time seemed to be wasted.
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, can you see what I see?
Nancy would give her life for Oliver... She'd give her life for any of them, of course, but... They didn't need her like Oliver did. She seemed to be the first ray of sunshine in a cloudy life for the boy. Could anyone else see how fragile he was? Why didn't they leave him alone?
They're tryin' to come back, all my senses push
Untie the weight bags, I never thought I could
Steady feet, don't fail me now
And now Oliver was back! Back in the gang. And Nancy was edging away, and Bill was edging closer, and the gang were torn, and Fagin tried to run, but he couldn't. He was still stuck in his limbo – stuck somewhere between two worlds. Everything he had pushed everything else away, and yet it all came closer. He was helpless – for the first time in a very long life – Fagin felt properly helpless. Weights pressed down on his shoulders, but even by throwing them off his feet still failed him. He could not run.
I'm gonna run till you can't walk
Something pulls my focus out
And I'm standing down
Nancy was running beside Oliver – travelling at little more than a limp. Nancy was outrunning everything she had ever stood for, and Oliver was the candle in a winter's night. Oliver was the key to a new life. Nancy remembered Bill... and she could run no more. Standing down from a new beginning, she could not walk away. Stuck in a limbo.
... Oh, do you see what I see?
It was over. Did anyone else know that?