Title - With A Little Help
Chapter Title - Fine
Genre - Romance/Friendship/Hurt/Comfort
Disclaimer - I do not own Oliver Twist or Oliver! in anyway shape or form. I only own my original characters, and the plot for this fic.
A/n - Please leave a review if you read, I'd really appreciate it (:
It was a mild summers day in London as Bethan Owens wondered the streets. She was near her old home, just enjoying being somewhere familiar, somewhere she had made so many memories. She sat down on a bench that was at the end of the street she used to live on. Men and women were passing her by, staring at what they saw as another street urchin. Whilst she watched the world pass her by, she noticed girls that seemed to be the same age as her, walking arm and arm with men, occasionally stopping to kiss.
She sighed and left the area, returning to her new home. Sure it wasn't as clean and organized as her old home, but she felt happy here none the less. When she arrived at the bottom of the staircase leading to the gangs hideout, she heard someone call her name from above. Glancing up, she found Dodger, sat with his legs hanging through the railing.
"Why the frown?" He asked as she sat down beside him.
"I saw some girls my age around my home." Dodger stared. "It's my birthday soon and most girls my age are already married. Some have even got kids."
"You want kids?" Dodger's eyes were wide.
"No of course not. But it just reminds me that if mama and papa were still alive, I'd probably be married." She smiled. "I used to think I'd get married to Arnold Smith. He lived around the corner from us."
"Arnold Smith? What kind of name is that?" Dodger scowled, a pang of jealousy running through him, toward a man he'd never met.
"What kind of name is the Artful Dodger?" Bethan chuckled. "Besides, he had an arranged marriage as far as I can remember."
"You really want all that? Marriage, kids and so on?"
"I don't know. Marriage was an ideal I grew up with so I guess I do kind of want it. The rest I'm not really bothered about."
Dodger looked thoughtful for a moment. "We can pretend we're married if you like."
Bethan blushed a vibrant pink. "Oh..Well, I mean..Um...That would be, erm, lovely but you know, erm, just pretend...Of course."
Dodger smiled at Bethan's dithering. The way the colour in her cheeks spread into her ears made his stomach flutter. "You're cute." He blurted before he could realize what he was about to say and stop himself. Bethan's blush grew more and more furious and she dropped her gaze, letting her hair fall to hide her face. "No...I mean...Well you are cute but I didn't mean..."
"It's fine." Bethan mumbled.
Little did the pair know, that just behind them, just behind the door to their hideout, two nosey teens sat listening together, their ears pressed against the wood. Audrey giggled as Charley rolled his eyes.
"He should've just left it at 'you're cute'." He sighed, standing up.
"I'm going to talk to Bethan. Try and persuade her to talk to Dodge. We've been here five months now, you'd have thought they'd at least of kissed once." Audrey was pulled to her feet by Charley, her boyfriend now for just short of three months.
"Right. I spose I better 'ave a word with Dodge then 'eh?" Charley smiled as Audrey nodded and together they opened the front door and moved beside the silent pair on the balcony.
"Hello." Audrey greeted. "Bethan, let's go for a walk. Just us."
"Yeah. It's been a while since Dodge and I 'ave 'ad some boy time." Charley nodded in agreement.
"Alright." Bethan pushed herself up and linked arms with her sister. "Bye!" She called to Dodger who meekly waved in her direction as Charley pulled him inside.
The girls returned to the grassy hill that overlooked the stream where not so long ago Bethan had asked Audrey about her own love life. Funny how the tables turn so quickly.
"What do you want?" Bethan asked as she sat down. "I know you want something, I can tell."
"We need to talk about Dodger." Audrey said bluntly. "It is so painfully obvious, and it has been since we first joined Fagin's gang, that you love him."
"Don't be ridiculous."
"I'm not. Don't dismiss me so suddenly." Audrey lightly hit her sisters arm. "It obvious Bethie. Just admit it."
"I can't admit something that isn't true." Bethan folded her arms across her chest, never meeting her sisters gaze.
"Look me in the eye and say it then. Look me in the eyes and tell me that you are honestly not in love with Jack."
"Don't call him Jack, he doesn't like it."
"You can't do it, can you?"
With a sigh Bethan turned her head, eyes locking with her sisters. "I do not...I don't...Oh for gods sake, I don't know Audrey." Bethan flopped back to lie on the grass.
"You don't know what?"
"You love Charley don't you?"
"Well how did you know?"
"You just do. I'd do anything for Charley and I bet that you'd do anything for Dodger."
Bethan frowned and lay an arm across her eyes, blocking out the sun that seemed to be growing warmer as it drifted into the evening. "Course I would. But that's because he saved us from living in that disused storage building...We'd probably be dead or starving if he hadn't."
"Bethie, it wasn't just Dodger. It was Fagin and Charley too. You do love him."
"So what if I do? Not much I can do about it is there?"
"You could tell him."
"What? And have him laugh at me?"
"You are so blind! He just offered to pretend he's your husband and told you you're cute. He saved you from the men who thought you were stealing from them when it was actually me. He could've been caught and sent to the gallows that day. He does everything for you. He even gave you his blanket when it got really cold that night, remember."
"I refused to take it."
"Yes but you fell asleep shivering and he put it over you anyway."
"Really?" Bethan moved her arm to frown at her sister. Audrey nodded.
"Promise me you'll tell him." Audrey held out her pinky finger. Reluctantly Bethan linked hers through it.
"In my own time though."
"Soon as possible." Audrey started to pull of her boots and torn stockings.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm going in the stream."
Giggling, Bethan followed suit and the two sisters went paddling in the shallow waters.
-Meanwhile in the den-
"Dodge?" Charley sat on his bed as Dodger lay down across his.
"When you gonna tell 'er?"
Dodgers eyes widened. "You been listenin' at doors again Charley?"
"Git." Dodger placed his top hat over his eyes.
"Just tell 'er you love 'er. It'd be so much easier."
"She loves you."
"She does. She'd do anythin' for you that girl. Why do you think she got so embarrassed when you said she was cute."
"We 'aven't 'ad dinner yet." Charley smirked and leant forward to look at his friend. "If you don't tell 'er I'm gonna lock you both in the loft until one of you cracks."
"Oh shut up Charley."
"Will you leave me alone if I do?"
"Fine then. I'll tell 'er." And with that, Dodger rolled onto his side to stare at the blank wall. He ignored Fagin's shouts of 'dinner' and focused solely on the daunting task of telling someone that you love them.