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Here's the next one - enjoy!
Bill Sikes was staring him in the eye, an unconscious Oliver in his hands. Dodger tried to back out, but was stopped by the stream behind him. He tried his best to keep an even footing, without being intimidated by Sikes. Sikes didn't even blink before he said his next words.
"Loved 'er, didja? Loved my dear Nancy? Fought me 'cause she asked?" He breathed in Dodger's face, smirking slightly. He subconsciously tried to lean away, but stopped when he swaggered towards the stream.
"So wha' if I did? What's wrong wiv' 'aving a perfectly 'umane feeling to som'un?" Dodger spat back, pushing on Bill's chest. He wouldn't budge. Bill seemed so intent on either dropping Dodger into the river, or trying to suffocate him with his terrible breath. Either way, Dodger held still.
"I knew you an' Nance were up ta' somthin'. Can't keep ya two apart, eh? Should've seen this 'un comin'. I really should've….." Blood boiled in Dodger's veins. After all the things that Bill'd done to Nancy, even after killing her, he was still allowed to be angry with her? To call her 'Nance'? To blame her for something that was never true and never will be true? He wouldn't stand there looking at that situation. Never.
"Shu' your filthy mouth abou' Nancy!" Dodger cried, somehow gaining enough strength to push him off, to make him stumble – he grasped at the chance and ran. No matter how fast Sikes could be, he still couldn't beat the Artful Dodger. Especially when he was burdened with 50-plus pounds thanks to Oliver. He ran with all his might, to warn Fagin and the others about the danger that was surely going to hit them next. Bullseye was still on the loose – Bill'd tried to kill him, and there was a high chance that he'd betray all of them. He dashed to the door, shouting "It's me! Dodger! Quick, open up!" When his bestie, Charlie finally settled on opening the door, he wasted no time to tell them all about Bill, Nancy and Bullseye. He was just getting to the part where Bill'd run with Oliver with him, when the door exploded.
No, it wasn't an explosion. Bill Sikes had just completely demolished the old door, holding Oliver in one hand and looking murderous. Dodger quickly hid into the shadows, afraid of what would happen to all the others when Bill found out that they were hiding him. Mercifully, Bill didn't notice him there. He was too concerned with Fagin's money. A moment after, he could hear something. Something that didn't quite fit in with the setting. Dodger beckoned to Charlie, silently telling him to try looking out of the window. His best mate got the message quickly, and sneaked to the window to take a peek. And then everything was out of control.
"RED ALEEEERT! RED ALEEEERT! BEAK'S ON THE STREETS, HEADED THIS WAY! BULLSEYE AT THE LEAD!" Charlie screamed, making all of the boys except Dodger jump. Fagin glared at Bill, but the look didn't last long. Bill shoved him out of the way, grabbing Oliver in his way out. He muttered something about holding him captive, and Dodger knew that it was now his moment to act.
Since following Bill was way too dangerous, Dodger quickly went through the concealed back door that opened in the opposite direction. In the slums, all of the buildings were stuck together, so Dodger had the tiniest bit of hard time locating his way to the front of their hidey-hole. He looked around for a moment, considering his options. Going his way with manners would take so much of a detour, so he just decided with a shortcut. With a large stone nearby, he crashed the window of the nearest building and climbed inside. He went upstairs for a better view, and then he saw him clearly.
At the window, still clutching Oliver with his hands, Bill Sikes was walking his way to the planks. Dodger quickly hid behind a table, trying to see what he was up to. Sikes brought Oliver up, and started tying himself to the plank, holding a firm grip on Oliver. He was totally immersed in what he was doing, so Dodger could figure that he won't notice even if Dodger climbed up behind him. Dodger waited, waited for the perfect chance to get him. Bill turned around, using Oliver for cover and tying himself onto the plank. His back was turned, so Dodger took his chance.
He sneaked up behind Bill, his feet making no sound. Oliver noticed him coming, and whimpered softly. Bill ignored him. Perfect. Dodger raised a finger to silence Oliver, and debated for a moment. Save Oliver, or kill Sikes? Nancy's dying wish surely was to save Oliver's life, but he had to kill Bill for his vengeance. But it was all for Nancy….. Fine, then. He'll save Oliver's life first, and on this plank, Bill might just die by falling. He started walking again. Oliver trembled, and Bill snarled at him for moving around. He was fumbling endlessly on the rope he was attaching to himself. It all seemed perfect. Dodger took another step, reaching to Oliver…
Dodger quivered. The bullet's force was enough to take him off balance, but he managed to shout one last sentence before he fell.
"I'm tryin' to 'elp 'ere, you bloody bastards!"
And then it went pitch-black.
It was rowdy when he awoke. He felt dizzy, and a strong smell of tobacco was issuing from somewhere on his right. Something wet was upon his face….. Was it mud?
'Ew,' he thought. 'Now me top 'at an' everythin' will be dirty. It takes so long to wash 'em…. And did I 'ad to get covered in this bloody mud right before I died? This stuff sucks.' He noticed that the weight of the mud on his eyelids was starting to decrease. A finger, a rough one….. brushing the mud off his eyes. He opened them as soon as it felt safe. The ol' baker was holding him, washing the mud off his face as he held him. Dodger blinked. What on earth was going on?
He sat up hastily, looking at the sky. There was the plank, but where was Sikes? And Oliver? With a wave of panic, it occurred to him that Bill might have run away. Dodger repressed a shudder. Bill Sikes, master of silence, following him for the rest of his life? Trying to save Oliver suddenly seemed like the stupidest idea in the history of the world. How could he have done such a thing? Now he couldn't settle down anywhere, for Sikes would surely follow him to the ends of the worlds. Live a life on the running…..
But then, he saw something dangling from the rope that hanged down from the plank. He looked closer, and fell back again with a gasp.
Sikes was dead? Could it have been possible?
Then he finally noticed the small hand that held his. Oliver was there, looking pale as ever and terribly shaken, but he was there alive. Dodger gaped. That was Sikes on the rope, Oliver next to him, but what was wrong with him, the Artful Dodger? He was shot, shouldn't he be dead? He dropped his eyes to the spot that he was supposedly shot.
A tiny hole was on the old blue coat that he loved, but there was no blood, no pain, no nothing. He quickly removed his coat, and then finally saw what had saved him.
A wallet. A think one, with loads of money inside and lined with the best quality. It was completely new – he'd only stolen it this morning. He remembered being excited that Fagin would be impressed, when he'd seen Nancy with Oliver and had followed in curiosity…. Could it be that it was only a few hours ago? It seemed so distant. He opened the wallet with shaking hands, afraid of what he'd see. He let out a sigh of relief when it was opened. Sure, the bullet had damaged almost all of the money and there was hardly anything useful left, but one thing was still safe. Something that he'd put inside for safekeeping.
Nancy's hand-sewn handkerchief. One that she'd given to him as a present.
Dodger started crying, now in relief and something that was close to joy. Maybe Nancy was dead. Maybe she'd never loved him. Maybe she'd be mad for killing Sikes. All of that didn't matter anymore.
He'd done everything for her.
That was enough.
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You wouldn't want to read crap again and again, would you? :)