Disclaimer: I do not own Oliver Twist, he belongs to Charles Dickens, I also don't own Oliver! He belongs to Lionel Bart and Vernon Harris yo.
Nancy opened her eyes. There was a terrible throbbing in her head. What had happened to her? She couldn't remember. She had been trying to take something somewhere. She reached her hand up to her head. It was shrouded in a bandage. Oliver. It was Oliver she was trying to save. Was he safe? She didn't know. More importantly she didn't know where she was. Her eyes were trying desperately to make out any shapes in the darkness. Suddenly she heard a voice, a little closer than she had expected.
She blinked, she could vaguely make out a shape standing before her.
"We were worried you wouldn't make it."
"Where am I?" She asked
"St Bartholomew's" said the disembodied voice, "But I'm afraid that now you're awake and everything you better be on your way."
"But where will I go?"
Home? Where was home? Bill, where was Bill? Then she remembered, almost too quickly. The fight at the bridge; the pain in her head. He had tried to kill her.
"But I can't see."
"Your eyesight should be fine by the end of the day, you've had a lucky escape you know?"
Within an hour she was outside. She didn't know where to go, she couldn't go home, Bill might be there and he might try to kill her again. That would be inconvenient since she had only just recovered from the last time. She could go to Fagin's, or to the Three Cripples, but these were all places she might bump into Bill. And that thought was almost too terrifying.
Well, there was nothing for it, she would have to brave a trip to Fagin's and hope that Bill wasn't there. So off she went. But when she arrived the place wasn't full of boys smoking and drinking, there was nothing but a few pigeons and couple of old men who were either asleep or dead on the floor. She didn't stop to check.
So she headed for the pub, but not without catching a glimpse of herself in a window. Her face was a brighter purple than her stockings and a deeper red than her dress. She suddenly felt very self-conscious and decided to take the bandage off; at least then her hair would look nice. But unfortunately her head looked even worse than her face and her hair was stained with blood. So she wrapped it back up again and tried to forget about it.
The pub was relatively empty, and the bar tender was less than helpful.
"Haven't seen him for about a week." was all he had to say about Bill and he was very vague when asked about Bet, though it seemed she had disappeared around the same time Bill had. Nancy felt a pang of something, was it jealousy? Honestly, you would think after all this time she would have learned. But, then, some luck at last, he had seen Fagin only yesterday and he would no doubt be back tonight.
So she waited. She had no money so resorted to stealing someone's wallet so she could afford something to eat. At least growing up with Fagin was good for something. When he finally arrived it was after twelve. Her head had started to hurt again and she was pretty fed up at everyone staring at the cuts and bruises on her face. Honestly, you'd think they'd never seen someone who had almost been killed by their boyfriend before.
When Fagin saw her his face was a mixture of horror and delight.
"Nancy! We though you were dead!"
"Not quite Fagin, where are you living now anyway, I went to your place."
"We changed lodges; we're in an old mill now. Dodger is working on rounding up the troops again. He'll be delighted to know you're alive."
"Could I come back with you do you mind?"
"No trouble at all my dear."
She almost asked about Bill but thought better of it.
When they reached the old mill house Nancy felt as if she might faint. She hoped there would be somewhere for her to lie down.
When Dodger first saw her his face was pricelessly perfect. He screamed out her name and practically flew across the room, throwing his arms around her so tight that he almost knocked her down.
It took a lot of effort for Fagin to prize his arms away and explain that Nancy was very tired and should therefore be sent straight to bed. He did notice, however, that there were now two clean streaks through the grime on Dodger's face and the thought made him smile.
However, Dodger was not one to be dissuaded and after ensuring the other boys were all asleep and Fagin had left for his sneaky night time business he hopped out of bed and snuck into Nancy's room. Nancy's room was merely an alcove that provided a limited amount of privacy where she was sleeping on a makeshift bed made from a basket and several knitted blankets.
She looked so vulnerable that Dodger wanted to grab a hold of her again and never let go, to protect from all the men in the world who were like Bill Sikes. Looking at the state she was in he didn't know how she could possibly have survived.
He realised all too suddenly that her red dress was hanging over the beam beside her, and that meant that, underneath those covers, she was... He turned bright red and resolved to retreat back to his bed and talk to her in the morning when she was more clothed. But then, she moved her head just slightly and he realised that, regardless of the cuts and the bruises, she was still the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life.