New Note: I started this story back in November, so the beginning is taken more from the stage version than the movie, but the later chapters have parts from the movie.
A note: The "Sweeney Todd" book is by Hugh Wheeler, and the music and lyrics of the play are by (of course) Stephen Sondheim. I will rarely use lyrics from the play, but I will probably use a lot of spoken lines (from both the stage version and film).
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Prologue – One year after the end of 'Sweeney Todd'
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I like Plymouth.
I have to keep telling Anthony this. He asks me at least once a day in some way or another. He either asks how I like it here, or he'll ask the blunt question and ask if I've recovered from everything that happened last year. Other times he merely looks at me for too long. Not in the way that he did when we first met. Back then, there was something of awe and wonder in his looks. Now, it has softened into concern and hint of worrying.
Have I recovered yet?
I'm not sure. I keep myself occupied during the day, so I'm too busy to think of anything in the past. It's only at night that I have trouble. Even though Anthony is lying only a few inches from me, I close my eyes and I see nothing but dead faces. So all I can do is lie awake at night, like I am now, listening to Anthony's steady breathing and occasional whimper. I look over at his serene face, but there are moments when his brow furrows in a way that makes me wonder if he has nightmares too.
I don't just dream about the bodies. I see the inside of the asylum. I dream that I am inside the freezing, crowded cell again. I see Anthony outside the small window and scream out for him, but he doesn't hear me or look at me. When I have dreams like this, I wake up screaming with tears on my face and Anthony holding me tightly and telling me that I'm safe. When I wake in the morning, Anthony is either still holding me tightly to his chest or our hands are linked between us.
There's a certain peace here, being by the sea. I can hear the waves, but they are not so loud that it distracts and annoys. The air smells of salt and other ocean scents that I can't define. Being so near to the sea, I know that Anthony feels trapped. He doesn't say it aloud, but he's meant to be on the sea. There's something in the way he looks out towards the horizon and the way his handsome profile looks against the gray skies and dark blue water. He tells me he doesn't want to go.
"If I have my way, I'll stay here with you forever," He said the other day, his face looking more boyish when he smiles softly. Then his face went a bit more serious. "I promised you I'd never leave you again."
He remembers when I was taken away. The intolerable months spent in the asylum. Then the blood…
"I'll be fine on my own for a bit," I replied, but we both know that "a bit" could mean weeks or months. "I'm perfectly capable…"
"It's not that…," He sighed and shifted uncomfortably. Then I understood. He was afraid that I would really go insane from being so shaken up by what had happened back in London.
"Do I seem insane to you?" I said, hands on my hips. My tone was slightly joking, but mostly serious. He opened his mouth to reply, to deny thinking any such thing, but I kept going. "I'm not going to try and kill myself the moment you leave."
I've rarely seen Anthony angry, but on that occasion, he cast an uncharacteristic glare in my direction. "That's not funny." He sighed angrily and looked out the window towards the sea. Then his tone softened and his voice almost broke. "I...I don't want to just abandon you."
That melted any anger I held towards him. His back was towards me as he faced the window, so I reached around his waist and rested my chin on his shoulder.
"You wouldn't be abandoning me," I murmured in his ear. I kissed his cheek gently and smiled as I continued, "If anything, I'd be throwing you out."
"Hm," He smiled a bit and turned so that I was in his arms completely. His fingers absentmindedly reached up to stroke the side of my face. His lips met mine, and the sensation was so wonderfully familiar that it spread warmth throughout my entire body.
"I'm fine," I whispered against his mouth as we broke apart. "Really."
If he didn't believe me, he didn't say anything.
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Short start, I know, but there's much more to come.