Dodger would flatter himself to say that he was quite possibly the most romantic man in the world. He was sure he could plan something spectacular to sweep Nancy off her feet.
He found himself thinking about her all the time. Even more than he used to, which was a lot. He thought about her when he was picking pockets, he thought about her when he was taking the initials out of handkerchiefs, he even thought about her when he was trying to sleep which made sleep almost impossible.
After a couple of days Charlie noticed that something was up and, as a friend, tried to find out the cause.
"Charlie, I'm in love."
"You're not still on about Nancy are you Dodge? Surely you know by now that nothing is ever going to happen."
"I do not know that, besides, now that Bill's dead I can..."
"Can what? She's going to end up with someone just like Bill Sikes and they'll..."
"I will never let that happen!"
"So what exactly do you plan to do to win her heart?"
"Well I, I haven't really thought of anything yet but..."
"That sounds promising."
"Look, I just need some sort of romantic gesture, like when we made the carriage, only better because that didn't work."
"Well, it sort of did, I mean it couldn't have worked then because of Bill, but she did dance with you remember, you wouldn't shut up about it afterwards."
"So I think you should stick with that then."
"What? Just do it again?"
"Maybe, I think I have an idea Charlie."
"I'm going to need your help."
So the two boys set to work searching the streets of London for all their old friends. They found most of them and soon they were back at Fagin's with a moldy sausage each and a mug of gin.
Dodger wasted no time in telling them the plan and the whole lot of them set out for Nancy's house the next day.
And here is what they did: Outside of Nancy's window they stood and one by one the boys piled on top of each other in a pyramid, then Dodger, who had taken the care to clean his face and hands, holding a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers (where he got them I will not divulge), climbed atop the pyramid and began to sing at the top of his lungs.
"I'd do anything, for you dear anything, for you mean everything to me."
Nancy heard him straight away, though that wasn't difficult as the whole street probably heard him.
"I know that, I'd go anywhere, for your smile anywhere, for your smile anywhere I'd see."
She had come to the window, she was smiling, that was a good sign.
"I'd risk everything, for one kiss everything, yes I'd do anything, anything for you!"
Dodger had on that glittering smile that would have made a lesser woman go weak at the knees, but not Nancy, and by the time the boys had climbed down and were busy dancing with the onlookers she was standing at the door with her hands on her hips.
"What's all the racket out here then?"
"My lady" said Dodger, bowing at the bottom of the stairs and holding out the bouquet.
No one had ever given her flowers before.
"For me Sir Artful?"
"Only the best for you."
She looked at him then, really looked at him, sure he was half her size but he was only a couple of years younger than she was. There could be no harm in asking.
"You do love me don't you Dodge?"
"I've always loved you."
That was certainly a better response than she had heard in the past.
There was really only one thing left to check.
She kissed him, proper.
She was pleasantly surprised but she broke away when she heard the cheers and whistles from their audience and looked back at his face. It had turned a lovely pink.
"I guess you're not all bad." She said.
Dodger couldn't do much, except grin.