Author's Note: Miss me me old china? Haha. I apologize for my unexpected hiatus, I lost my login information and had to rest everything. So..as a surprise for my being back, have a One Shot I wrote out of boredom a long time ago. It's not one of my best, it was just an idea I played with. I'm not going to tell you anything about it, just read it. As for One of Us, I am currently editing Chapter 2, so don't worry it will be updated as soon as possible.
He had avoided this cemetery for ten years, the early morning mist made it even harder for him to open the gate and go within, it gave the scenery a much more uneasy feel, making the shabby wooden tombstones look even more uninviting. The grass gave beneath his boots as he worked his way along the rows of headstones, the dew forcing the grass to cling to the edges and creating a watery film over the tip, dampening the fabric. The young man pulled his coat closer to protect him against the early morning chill.
He'd known all along where the man was buried, and had told himself many a time he'd make it out here to give his respects, for ten years he'd made excuses, passed by, his hand hesitating on the gate, shaking in fear of what he'd find, before abruptly turning and heading along his way. He stopped at the furthest row from the back, looking down at the small piece of paper with the location on it, he checked the rows back five times before making sure he was at the right one, mostly to stall his movement from following the small, lone specters of headstones to the one he hadn't wanted to ever see, had hoped that he'd never see.
"that particular grave m'boy?" the undertaker stared at him over his cracked glasses, "No one claimed him for three month after the 'anging, so we jus' buried 'im with the others, didn' know 'e 'ad a nephew" the frail little man pulled a drawer open, revealing papers that had started to yellow with age "near ten years ago, I'd 'ate to find out any relatives 'a mine died after ten years, but 'e was a criminal righ'? Bet your glad 'es gone" the man chuckled then shut up at the site of the younger's somber expression.
To tell the truth part of him was glad the man had given up the ghost, even if it was by the gallows, but the ten year old boy in him still cried over it, he'd heard he'd lost his rocker before the hanging, muttering to himself and shrinking away from the traps. He still beat himself up for not being there for him when he needed him the most, hell, the old man had been the closest to family he'd ever had, the only figure for him to look up to, ask questions, how proud he'd been of him,
"you'll be a rich man my dear….a rich man indeed…."
The words echoed through his memory like the man was standing next to him, making him smile a bit, the twenty year olds eyes welled up slightly, he pulled his top hat off and rubbed his fingers through his dark hair before setting the hat back on, he was glad he'd grown into the top hat, he'd always fancied them, but as a boy he'd had to twitch his head ever so slightly to keep it on. He sighed, heading down the rows of headstones, counting them off slowly, some were labeled with numbers, or just the words "murderer, thief…etc" a couple had names, but the wood had corroded from moisture and he couldn't make out the names properly, or moss grew over the lone wooden haunts that had been killed in the name of justice.
Finally, he stopped, facing the name on the headstone, he bent down and pulled the grass up from around it, using his sleeve to rub and pull what moss had grown into the cracks that wormed their way through the wooden plaque that read;
"There" the man leaned back on his heels, staring at the deep imprint of his former employer's name, no….caregiver, Fagin had been everything to Jack Dawkins, he'd looked up to him even when he got on his bad side, and believed his words. Dodger smiled softly "I said I'd come didn' I Fagin?" he said, grinning at the headstone, " Took me years bu' I didn' fancy seein' you six feet undah." He sighed, reaching into his coat pocket, he pulled out a worn drawstring bag and dumped out a menagerie of different jewels, when he'd gotten back, Dodger had run into Oliver, who'd brought him back to his benefactors and handed over to Master Dawkins an odd assortment of jewels, telling him they were Fagins, and he thought Dodge needed part of it since he'd been closer to Fagin longer. Rather than pawning them or selling them off Dodger had kept them, he dug a small hole above the grave "These is yours, ain' a single one missin' " Dodge pulled the dirt over the hole, "Oliver gave 'em to me when I got back" referring to the short time he thought he'd be shipped off to Australia, too bad he knew how to swim, he'd gotten on the boat, and the traps, believing he was on his way to the middle of desert hell had left him, Dodge had jumped off and swam to the dock, soaked and wet he'd ran, coming back to London, no beak was going to send The Artful Dodger to a place like that. Jack stood there longer feeling the tears coming back again, "I turned out fine old 'un," he said, the tears coming up, he sniffed and wiped them with the sleeve, "A righ' gentleman," Dodger had reverted back to pickpocketing, pawning and selling and depositing until he built up a decent amount, and settled down, at least until the itch happened, so some nights he was back to the old game. He was a lot more careful now than when he was little, he knew he wasn't immortal, "You'd be proud," he stood, giving the headstone one last look before turning and leaving the graveyard, disappearing into the morning mist.