Rain, rain, glinting silver like razors against the windowpane, and all that visceral delicious wrong red to clean up all over again. And again and again and again.
If it didn't put people off, to say the least, he probably wouldn't bother at all. But he had to keep on. If not, then what? He preferred not to consider the ifs or thens of life. That sort of thinking interfered with the briefest set of basic mechanics that his new life was. Todd couldn't manage much more than that.
Always always always that alarm going off in his head. She's dead. She's gone. Oh no, oh no, oh no no no no no. Loud and awful, monstrous bright like glinting razors. With all that, who had time to eat? Or sleep? Or anything?
Just those constant cries. No no no no. Just that constant pain, and nothing he could do about it.
He could kill. He could share his pain, give what he couldn't have. That wonderful brief catharsis of crimson.
Oh Lucy, he would think. Oh Johanna. My doves, my darlings. This was never supposed to happen. But life—
And he would kill again. Not that anything helped for more than a moment.
And not that Todd was completely unaware of anything outside himself. It was just…difficult. In fact, without Mrs. Lovett, he would have starved to death or given himself away long ago. He knew this, he did.
"Oh, you great useless thing," she'd say as she helped him, brusquely, softly, sometimes even in exasperation, but always with affection. She brought him food. She made sure he slept. She even provided him with caution, and prudence. And she would have provided him with so much more, he knew this too. But all that was just one more distraction Todd didn't fancy confronting. Like breakfast.
Yet, ruined as he was, he couldn't stop himself from humoring her. Just a little. Just enough to keep her happy, anyways. He told himself it was practicality. They were both using each other for something. At least—mostly—they were honest about it. Which is so much more than most couples can say about themselves.
What Todd didn't consider was the danger of routine. How when you're used to something, you forget it—you're lulled into a sense of security. And things progress. They'll escalate. Allowing himself to be touched could lead to him touching her—at first perfunctorily, then maybe affectionately. Scoffing at Mrs. Lovett's plans for any future led to maybe not scoffing as much—which she could take as encouragement, which only led to more. Maybe sometimes he would dance. Smile, maybe.
But never for a moment could he drown out all those red red claxon screams in the back of his head.
No matter if—
The danger of routine. Of getting used to something. That one day, the first time all that slashing wasn't enough, and his razors didn't seem to release a goddamn thing.
Who knows how long he stood there, dangerously drenched in all that blood, completely at a loss for why he couldn't breathe properly still. Minutes? Hours? Maybe even seconds. The blood was still wet, though, when he found himself wandering down the stairs, although it was very dark. As far as he was concerned, it was the only course of action. If he had been in a better state of mind, Todd might have been concerned about someone seeing him, of noticing the blood. But he could only blindly follow. That's all he seemed to be good for, nowadays.
He knew where Mrs. Lovett slept. God knows he had been subtly and not so subtly invited there enough times. Todd found himself all of a sudden standing helplessly at her doorway. It was probably blind instinct, he reflected later. Any other time he had any kind of need, she would fill it best she could. So that now the night had gotten to him and he couldn't say what was wrong, he came to her.
Mrs. Lovett had been in bed for the night, which was completely unacceptable. He needed her. So he thought nothing of approaching her bed and roughly shaking her arm to awaken her.
The woman stirred, moaned, before opening her eyes. And crying out. This was also unacceptable. Todd pressed a cold hand to her mouth, to silence her, until she figured out it was only him. As if that was comforting.
"Mr. Todd!" she cried, after she was free to speak. "I never! And what is it you're doing, swooping around at night like a great owl!"
"I…" he said, but couldn't seem to finish.
Her lips, even now smeared with rouge, turned down. "Hush now, Mister Tee," she said, and reached out for his arms to pull him down to her. He allowed her. "What's the matter, dearie? Something wrong? Do tell me." She tried to rest his head on her shoulder, only to pull back in surprise, her small hands smeared with blood. "What's all this, then? No time to wash up? Has something happened?"
Todd swallowed. "No," he said. "Nothing…out the ordinary. I don't think. Everything's fine."
Her round eyes darkened for only the briefest of moments. "Well, that's all right, I suppose." Already he was forgiven. He wanted to laugh. Or at least he knew that it should be an amusing situation. He hadn't laughed in so long.
They were silent for a moment, which Todd could only attribute to the unorthodox situation. Mrs. Lovett usually had so much to say all the time. And she either didn't notice or didn't care that he never contributed to the conversation at all. Never cared to, or cared at all.
Mrs. Lovett. So affectionate. So foolish. So…different than what he remembered. Different from her. She was wan and dark, instead of healthy and fair. She was strong, and voluptuous, rather than charmingly frail.
She was close. While the other one was so impossibly far, this one stayed close. No, no, no, no, the alarms still went off. Oh, this was all wrong and there was nothing he could do about it.
The woman must have noticed him tensing, for she pulled back. "Mister Todd?" He didn't answer, as usual, so she sighed. "Let's get you off to bed," she said, rising.
"No," he said, and pulled her back, dark eyes meeting black. He could see her try to gauge the situation, see if this was good or bad. Not that it mattered. She would do anything for him, he knew. She would give him anything. Maybe even her life…
"I find myself still restless," he said flatly, as his hand wandered up to her white throat. "Even now, still unhappy, still unable to find my peace." His hand was clasped firmly around her neck now. Her eyes were wide, and she twitched as if to move away. As if she could. He was much stronger than her, and they both knew it. "What should I do about that, Mrs. Lovett? You always have the most charming notions…"
"A nice drop of ale," she babbled, "that's all you need to put you right! Just stay right here, love, and I'll be right back with—"
She disgusted him. "No ale," he growled, pushing her back on the bed. "Not this time." There was a clean sharp swish as he flicked out his favorite razor and held it to her throat. This was not the first time he had done so. Not daring to touch him, she grabbed the bedding with her hands, but couldn't seem to close her eyes. Those needy, pleading eyes, swirling murky with emotions he couldn't remember. Which only disgusted him more. Perhaps all he needed to rest was a little more blood. This lovely, hideous woman so pathetic in her need to be needed…
The razor pressed against her throat as he sneered, and he was rewarded with that oh-so-familiar scarlet trickle—
Now she closed her eyes, and whimpered horribly. "Please no, Mr. Todd," she managed to whisper. "Oh please no. Not me."
It was the whisper, rather than the whimper—and the eyes. All the things he had forgotten versus all the things he couldn't forget. Always and forever a slave to forces he barely understood and couldn't control, he felt himself breathing again. And leaning forward, razor still in hand, he felt himself kissing her mouth, roughly, clumsily. Despite everything, she still had the presence of mind to return the gesture—whimpering again, though not just in pain, he assumed. A real lady, Todd thought.
The kiss lengthened, and deepened, and Todd found himself leaning over her, his free hand in her hair, across her body, in her hand. He felt her rise and writhe agreeably against him, he felt her hand try to move the razor from her throat.
And he felt himself pulling back, and laughing, and keeping the blade right where it was.
He always knew she wanted this mechanical physical intimacy from him. Some sign of love. But he didn't love her. At least no kind of love he could ever remember feeling. He needed her. So badly, sometimes. She gave him whatever he wanted. He was grateful, in his way. He really was. And he hated her for it.
So instead of throwing aside the razor, he simply moved it, with the same determined delighted sneer. Todd moved it across her white clothes, her pale pasty body, freeing her from her clothes and leaving pretty little red trails all behind.
What followed was not what he remembered from before. And not, he hoped to God, what she had dreamed. He took her, harsh and quick and messy, against the formerly pristine sheets. And even then! She whispered soft nothings, obscene in their warmth.
There are so very many ways to hurt others. There are so very many ways to hurt yourself.
He had so much to learn, Todd did. It made him so weary sometimes.
"I'm so tired," he said, almost whimpering himself. And she understood, and he hated her for that too.
"Then sleep," she said. "My darling. And forget." She stroked his hair, and face, and he allowed her. She needed it from him. It was only fair. All that sound and pain had receded, and although the distasteful charade that was life would have to resume on the morrow—well, that was long from now. He owed her for that.
Sweeney Todd owed Mrs. Lovett so much, he knew.
He laughed again, softly before drifting into that sweet silent oblivion. Her eyes lit up at that. He wondered idly if they always had that cruel razor-glint gleam, or if they were only reflecting his own.
A/N—I can't write fics without these notes, I guess. Oh Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett. There'll be another chapter of this from Mrs. Lovett's point of view. Which will totally happen, because I write SO much. Sigh. Whatever. But I'm kind of assuming they have sex because of this one line from "By the Sea" where she talks about wanting her rumpled bedding legitimized. Am I interpreting this wrong?
Don't flame. It's stupid. Take issue sure, with grammar, writing, characterization, whatever, but not logistics and not the OMG this would NEVER happen I KNOW because I know these characters PERSONALLY. All it does is make me grumpy, so, come on. I wish I didn't have to write this shit but it is evidently necessary.
If you're reading this fic, chances are you write Sweeney fic too, in which case you are incredible. I love this category.
Love, your charming and ever-faithful Dollfayce.