A/N: So this is my first story and one I've been working on for a while now. Just a heads-up for some pretty GRAPHIC VIOLENCE in this chapter. Also, this story is kind of AU where Lucy did die when she poisoned herself. Lucy is in the way of my favourite pairing so I like to kill her off so she can't come between them 😂. Anyways, on with the story...
Mrs Lovett's Pie Shop
Eleanore Lovett let out a sigh of relief as the last customer exited the shop for the night. Tonight had been one of the most tiring and gruelling shifts she had ever done. Two young sailors had to be thrown out after they drunkenly started throwing pies at some friends at another table and a small boy had run into young Toby, causing him to drop a whole jug of ale and four freshly baked pies. The poor lad had gone flying and landed hard on his backside too, causing the whole restaurant to laugh like crazy. Toby's cheeks had flushed and he'd scampered off with tears in his eyes before she had even got the chance to reach him. Eleanor hadn't seen him since then, and that had been around two hours ago. She hoped he had gotten over his little tantrum and hadn't wandered too far. She could have really used his help today and she didn't appreciate him running off leaving her to tend to the customers alone.
Groaning at the ache in her knees, she threw down the wet rag on the table she was cleaning. "Well...I suppose that'll 'ave to do." She placed her hands on her hips and stretched, enjoying the satisfying crack in her back. The sound of footsteps brought her out of her thoughts when Mr Todd stomped down from his barbershop, seemingly searching for her.
"Ello Mr Todd." She smiled "You lookin' for something, love?"
"Where's my dinner?" He asked in his usual dreary tone.
Eleanore tried not to show her disappointment. Of course, he wasn't looking for her, what a stupid thought. At the word 'dinner' she gasped, she had completely forgotten!
"Oh Mr T! I'm so sorry love, it jus' got real busy with the dinner rush and... I'll go grab you something now." She fluttered around the tables and made her way into the shop where one spare pie lay in the oven which she placed on a plate. "You want some gin too dear?"
He only grunted in response, clearly annoyed that she had been neglecting him for the past few hours. He watched her with a scowl as she poured him a small glass of gin and handed it over with the plate "Here ya are."
Sweeney snatched the plate from her hand but completely ignored the glass as he took the whole bottle off the counter instead and walked back up to his shop without another word. Eleanore watched him go with the glass still in her hand. It didn't matter how much she went out of her way to make him happy, he would still never show her an ounce of gratitude.
She placed the glass back on the counter and blinked back her tears. This day had been an absolute nightmare. Could it get any worse?
The sound of the door slamming made her jump out of her skin. "Ello?"
"Mum?" Came the voice of Toby.
Eleanore felt herself relax before her expression suddenly became angry. "Where the bloody 'ell 'ave you been?" She walked towards an abashed-looking Toby and placed her hands on her hips. "I 'ave spent the last two hours serving people all by myself while you wandered off ta god knows where!"
"I'm really sorry, mum. I didn't mean to run out like that." He looked up at her with his big dark eyes "But they was all laughin' at me mum, laughin' at me like I wos some clown all because that boy knocked me over!"
Mrs Lovett's eyes softened somewhat "I know wot 'appened, but you didn't even give me a chance to see if you were okay. Ya just walked right off past me and outta the shop! I would 'ave worried myself sick if ya hadn't come back! Think of all the crooks and dangerous folk that could've 'urt ya - it's dangerous out there Toby! Ya think just because ya got yer pride 'urt that you should do somethin' as rash as running off?"
"No..." Toby lowered his eyes again, the guilt clawing at him. "I really am sorry mum."
Eleanore tutted then opened her arms. She couldn't stay angry at him. Especially when he called her mum.
"Come 'ere." She swept him into a tight embrace which he returned just as tightly. "Now don't you go doin' anything silly like that again. Next time when somethin' a customer does bother ya you come and tell me - and I'll deal with 'em myself. No need to get upset now love."
Toby nodded into her chest and squeezed her waist "I love ya, mum."
Eleanore felt a surge of love for the lad and squeezed him back. "I love ya too, son. Now, why don't you take this glass of gin with ya into the parlour an' get changed into ye pyjamas? It's been a long night...I think we both need our beds."
"Yes, mum." He smiled, taking the glass and walking into the parlour to get changed.
Mrs Lovett watched him go feeling somewhat better. Even if Mr Todd was about as sociable as a toadstool, she could always count on a bit of love and affection from young Toby. Fifteen years without anyone to call family had been exceptionally lonely and she would have given anything for someone to keep her company.
Rubbing her eyes, Eleanor rolled up her sleeves and began carrying all the dirty dishes and cutlery to the counter by the sink, ready to wash in the morning. There was no way she was doing it tonight, she was far too exhausted. She still had to lock up the shop and put away her earnings before she could even get ready for bed. But the quicker she got it done, the sooner she could retire.
Then she could finally relax.
The Horse and Jockey Pub
East of Fleet Street
Arthur Wilhelm Sykes hiccuped as he gulped his fifth pint of beer that evening in celebration of his grandson's birth. Licking his lips the elderly man raised the glass to his mouth in an attempt to down the remains. In his drunken state, he completely missed and ended up spilling the contents on his crisp white shirt and new trousers "Oops."
"Ya might wanna slow down there, Arthur." The pub's owner Gilbert said whilst drying off a glass with a tea towel. "It'll go straight ta yer 'ead."
Arthur chuckled and forced his droopy eyes to open and look the bearded man in the eyes. "Just one more my friend, for little Arthur Jr." He placed down his money and Gilbert eyed the coins hesitantly. Arthur was a regular of his, a sweet man who could barely hold his drink and spent his days talking about his work at parliament and his dear wife and children. So when the rosy-cheeked, grinning politician had strolled into his pub this evening offering a free drink to everyone, Gilbert knew that the man had been given some exciting news. Perhaps even elected prime minister. But no. The exceptionally wealthy man had simply been made a grandfather with his first grandson; Arthur Jr.
"Perhaps ya should save yer money for li'l Arthur. Young babies can be an 'andful. God it feels like only yesterday me own son was born. I'm sure yer daughter will need all the support possible." He said gently, pushing the money back to him.
Arthur smiled a little, his moustache bobbing on his top lip as he babbled "Yes...yes I suppose you're right. Very wise man you are, Gilbert. I should listen to you more often..."
Gilbert shrugged "Only doin' my best for a mate. You'll watch yerself on ya way 'ome eh?" He asked in concern as Arthur stumbled getting off the barstool. "Yer awfully wobbly."
"I'll be fine thank you. My wife will be wondering where I am, I'd best get back to her." The elderly gentleman sniffed before taking his cane and waving the man goodbye. "See you around Gilbert."
"See ya, give my best ta Maud!"
Arthur mumbled a response but was already out the door and into the cold night. He coughed as he walked, burying his free hand into his coat pocket while the other hand kept ahold of his cane. As he walked he passed multiple shops and a grand manor that belonged to the infamous Judge Turpin. The man had a reputation like a disease. He was renowned for having a number of bastard children with women across London and known for sentencing many innocent people to terrible fates if they dared get in his way. He was all that was wrong with London's system of justice, and Arthur intended to change that if he were to be elected as Minister by next fall. There were far too many corrupt men in power, he'd had to deal with them all his life.
As he passed a completely barren park, he was aware of a gentleman stood leaning against a street lamp with a cigarette in his hand, watching him closely. Thinking nothing of it, the older man simply passed with a friendly 'evening'. He did not notice the stranger stand from his position and begin to follow him.
Arthur brought a handkerchief to his nose and noted the sign of the road he was on as 'Fleet Street'. Not too long now, he was only about a twenty-minute walk from his home. No doubt his wife Maud had already stoked the fire and was patiently awaiting him in their bed reading her book. No matter how many times he told her not to, she always waited up for him until he returned home on the rare late nights he went to the pub. She was ever so loyal, and he adored her for it.
Passing a quaint little pie shop, Arthur was about to turn the corner when he came face to face with the large form of a man in a dark bowler hat with piercing grey eyes. In his surprise, Arthur stopped and was about to say something when the rough voice of the mysterious man spoke first.
"Y-yes?" He breathed, suddenly uneasy.
The man in front of him looked over Arthur's shoulder and nodded. Arthur frowned and had barely begun to turn around when something struck him across the side of his head and sent him to the floor. Arthur cried out in pain, reaching to touch the side of his head and watching horror-struck at the blood that began dripping onto the pavement. He turned over to see another man raising a weapon above his head. With reflexes that took even his attacker by surprise, Arthur used his cane to strike the man hard between the legs.
His attacker howled in pain and fell to his knees, dropping his weapon with a resounding 'clang'. It was then that Arthur realised the object that had struck him was a tack hammer, a tool that probably would kill him if he was struck again. That's was - if he didn't die from bleeding to death. Raising his blood-soaked eyes he also realised that the man who wielded the hammer was the same man he'd passed smoking beneath the street lamp. He had been followed and ambushed by two men who knew his name and had already caused serious injury to his head. That only meant one thing; they were there to kill him.
Acting on instinct, he grabbed the discarded hammer and pushed himself to his feet, swinging at the second man in the hat who approached him with a snarl.
"You stay away!" He screamed swinging again at the man who twisted his body just in time before the hammer could catch his side.
The first man who had recovered from his injury had begun to circle him with his acquaintance, both his hands out ready to strike and a furious expression on his face.
"Help! Someone Help!" Arthur called desperately. In his moment of distraction, the first man surged forward and grabbed his wrist before he could bring the hammer across his face. He was a much stronger match for the elderly man and managed to pry the hammer out of his grasp before giving him a swift punch to the gut.
Arthur went down like a sack of potatoes and soon enough the much taller, younger man was over him - with his hands wrapped around his throat. Arthur tried to claw at the grip, but the man squeezed tighter. So tight he could see little black spots in the corner of his eyes. Knowing his strength would be no use, he tried to look around for his cane but settled on the cigarette still lit and in his attacker's mouth.
grabbing it with his fingers he pressed it hard against his assailant's cheek and heard the way it sizzled as it connected with the man's skin. His attacker screamed and with that let go of his throat and was off him. But Arthur didn't have time to dwell on the comfort of having his breath returned, for the second man in the bowler hat raised the hammer and brought it across his face so hard that the force sent him onto his side. Then, he brought it down one more time on the back of his head. And everything went black.
Heaving an angry sigh, the man in the bowler hat tucked away the hammer and spat on the unconscious man. He turned to his friend who was moaning and holding his face on his knees. "Get up ya silly idiot."
Doing as he was told, he joined his friend's side and stood over the unresponsive man, still rubbing his cheek. "Fiesty old git ain't he Tommy?"
"Shame." The one called Tommy said, "I like 'em when they fight. This one didn't disappoint though, grandpa's got some skills."
His friend chuckled.
"Make sure 'e's dead, finish 'im off if ya have to. I'm gonna see if 'e left us any money." He patted his friend on the shoulder and turned away from the motionless body. His accomplice fished into his pocket for his own weapon. A piece of wire wrapped around two small pieces of wood. A favourite toy of his...
While his friends finished the old man off, Tommy had picked up their latest kills wallet that lay discarded in the gutter from the struggle. Opening it up and ignoring the black and white photos of family members he grinned at the stash of notes tucked into the middle of the wallet.
"Bingo." He shoved the money into his pocket.
"Oi." said a female voice, startling him. He spun around and was struck clean across the face with a wooden rolling pin by a nightgown-clad Eleanore.
"What the-" The other man was in the middle of making the kill when he came face to face with a red-haired woman wearing only a white nightgown, an expression of sheer fury and a rolling pin raised threateningly above her head.
"You leave 'im alone." She said firmly, stepping barefoot over his colleague and walking towards him.
The cold-blooded crook would have laughed at the nerve of this insane woman, and once he had gotten over his shock he did just that.
"What ya gonna do love? Ya can't kill me with a rollin' pin." He said, brandishing his horrible looking strangulation device as some kind of warning and Eleanore's confidence faltered.
The rolling pin trembling in her hand, she decided to make a dash for it back into the shop in an effort to grab one of the many kitchen knives behind her counter. Admittedly she had been rather foolish to grab the rolling pin when she had a number of efficient weapons in her shop, but in the heat of the moment, when she saw a man being attacked she grabbed the first thing she saw.
She burst through the shop door but the stranger was hot on her heels and grabbed ahold of her arm. She took him by surprise when she kneed him in the groin and cracked him hard across the jaw with the rolling pin, forcing him to his knees. Dazed, but otherwise recovered he made an attempt to grab for one of the dirty knives on the counter before she could get him again with that bloody rolling pin. But the woman was faster than he anticipated and hit his extended arm so hard he felt it break clean in two.
"ARGH!" He screamed bloody murder as his arm flopped pitifully at his side "TOM! ELP ME!"
His friend appeared in an instant at the shop's door and Eleanore was not ready when he came at her. He charged her with the force of coach at full speed and slammed her against the wall. Eleanore became winded from her injury and had no time to prepare for the open fist that connected with her face. The blow sent her to the ground, but she was dragged to her feet by a fistful of her red curls, picked up and slammed down onto her counter where glasses and plates from the evening rush had been left. Some of the plates smashed on the floor and she was sure a broken glass was cutting her back as she was pinned down with the man's hands around her throat.
"You dammed bitch!" He spat blood on her face from where her rolling pin had knocked out two of his teeth. "You're dead! I'm gonna make ya pay, whore!"
She tried scratching at his eyes, but he leaned back and kept his grip around her throat. She tried kicking, but it was no use. Then, thinking back to the amount of glass that she had landed on, she reached for a shard by her hip and gripped it so hard that she felt the piece cut into her palm. Once she was sure it would not slip from her hand, she drove the pointed shard into the man's left eye. Her attacker roared in pain, moving off her and falling to his knees, the glass shard still embedded in his eye. Not wasting a single second while he was down, Eleanore grabbed one of her heavy oven trays and smashed it down on his head.
With that, he fell to his side, out cold.
Thinking that the second man would come at her any moment she grabbed for one of her butcher knives and raised it over her head, only to see the second thief already out the shop – running away!
Eleanore took off after him, snatching her heavy rolling pin off the floor with her free hand, the adrenaline making her run faster even though she was barefoot.
"You coward!" She screamed after him, as he tore down Fleet-street and turned the corner. Out of sight. Eleanore stopped, there was no point in chasing him down. "COWARD!"
She whizzed around, rolling pin and knife at the ready. When she saw the figure of Sweeney Todd wearing only his white dress shirt and black pyjama bottoms she froze. "Mr Todd?"
Sweeney could only stare.
A/N: Woah that was a lot lol. Obviously, this is just the first chapter but more will be coming soon. Lemme know what you guys think and if I should carry on. Feedback would be much appreciated! Stay safe everyone ️ x