Disclaimer: I don't own anything, only a part of the plot.
When the time is right
"We could have a life, we two," Mrs. Lovett softly said to Sweeney's back, which was facing her. "Maybe not like I dreamed, maybe not like you remember… but we could get by."
Hopefully she looked at him, but he just kept staring outside. When she thought he wouldn't answer anymore, he finally he replied.
"I don't think so, Mrs. Lovett."
"Why not," she asked almost inaudible, while trying not to show the sadness his answer caused.
"You aren't my Lucy."
"I know that, Mr. T… but it's such a long time ago. There comes a moment when you have to realize and accept she won't come back."
"Then why don't you go on with your life? You're killing yourself like this."
He turned around swiftly; it was clear she angered him.
"I have to do this, can't you see?!" he shouted.
She moved backwards in fear.
He paced around the room like a caged tiger who was planning to break out, no matter what.
"I can't just 'forget' about her, like we have never been together. Like we didn't share so much. Like we don't have a daughter. If I forget and get over with it, I deny all those beautiful years. I deny the only happiness I ever knew. I deny myself. If I allow myself to really think about what happened to Lucy, I'd go mad. I need something to hold on to, I need take revenge on the Judge. He has to pay for what he has done. If he won't pay, it would mean he can get away with this. It would mean I failed Lucy."
"But Mr. T., all that thinking about revenge… it makes you forget about the happy things in live. You hardly eat, you don't sleep, all you do is thinking about blood and death. But that can't change Lucy's fate."
"No. But it can change the fate of the one who is responsible for it."
He continued pacing through his shop, and Mrs. Lovett realized he was right.
"And when the Judge is dead? What will you do then? Could you leave it all behind?"
"Never," he said, knowing what she was trying to make him say.
He got dizzy from all the walking around and sat down in his chair; his back was facing her once again.
"I only want the best for you."
"I know, Mrs. Lovett, I know that."
She was glad that he was at least agreeing on that point, and leant over his shoulder.
"You know that I look after you, no matter what you do. Just listen to me. Killing the Judge isn't the problem. The real problem is in your head. You need to learn to deal with the loss of your wife. Only then you'll be able to find peace of mind, and happiness. Killing the Judge isn't the answer. She didn't want you to end up like this, Mr. T."
Her kind but manipulating words and her warm breath on his cold skin was too much for him.
"Leave me," he hissed.
He had said it to her before. She had always done what he asked, but she felt it wasn't enough.
"Leave me," he said again.
"No. If I leave you now, I feel like I leave you forever. And what will you do then? What should I do?"
"I said," he repeated, not trying to hide his anger and annoyance anymore, "GET OUT!"
She still didn't obey. He jumped out of the chair and grasped her tiny body, pushing her against the wall like he had done before.
She trembled but wasn't really afraid. She was sure provoking him was the only way to really reach his mind instead of being forgotten after he gave on of his empty promises. This was the moment, probably the last time, to try to persuade him, even with that maniacal look in his eyes, his hand on her throat and the knife that was in his other hand.
"She is gone, Benjamin. She is gone. She won't come back. And there is nothing you can do about it."
His hold on her throat tightened. She closed her eyes in fear at last. She wasn't afraid of the man himself, but was she scared of the demons that made him act like a devil.
One second nothing happened. Then a strange sound came from his direction.
Her eyes flew open, just in time to see how he let himself fall on the ground, where he remained lying. He hid his face behind his hands. The grief he had been running for all this time, finally hit him. The few tears became a river of salty water, that washed away the last denial.
"Lucy… My Lucy…"
When he sobbed, all the threat disappeared out of his appearance; all what was left was man whose spirit was almost broken. Mrs. Lovett watched him, still standing against the wall, glad that he finally allowed himself to face his grief.
He cried for more than twenty minutes. All that time Mrs. Lovett remained standing where she was, like she could give him some privacy and comfort if she wouldn't sit down next to him. He needed this, and she would give him as much time as he needed.
Finally the waterfall of tears was reduced to a few last tears. Yet she remained standing there. This time she would wait until he asked for her support. She wasn't sure if he would do so, but deep in her heart she rather wish he would become a man who could be a happy again without her, than a mad remain of a human being who pretended to be hers.
He still stared outside. His eyes weren't dead anymore like they used to be, but they still didn't see her. Inwardly she sighed deeply. It was clear to her.
She looked once more to the man who she loved so much, before she headed towards the door, wanting to leave him now he still ignored her.
However, when she walked past him, he reached for her dress, making her to sit down.
His voice was weak and tired, but somehow he talked again like Benjamin Barker used to do.
Although he didn't said it himself, his eyes that were filled with tears, did. He needed comfort and allowed her to give it.
Clumsily he embraced her, not familiar anymore with showing affection.
She held him tight and les his head rest on her shoulder, and caressed his back to make him feel at ease more.
He started to cry again; this time it wasn't because of the loss of his wife, but because of his own loneliness. He tried to hold it back, but she wouldn't let him.
"Mr. T., you've hidden for your grief too long. A good cry, that's what you need."
He looked up at her.
"Don't…" he muttered.
Her heart broke. She couldn't stand it anymore. She headed towards the door, crying herself now.
The pleading sound of his voice made her walk back to him.
"I meant: don't call me Mr. T. Please say Benjamin… like you used to do."
She sat down on the floor next to him again, her heart beating faster with joy.
"Although I never said it, I'm very grateful for what you have done for me. I just want you to know."
"It's alright," she said.
"This world is so dark and evil… I'm not sure I can deal with it. If I have to accept that my Lucy is gone…"
"The world is cruel indeed, but you aren't alone. Your wife is gone, but there is hope for your daughter. The sailor can rescue her from the Judge, I'm sure. There is hope."
Knowing that he was very reluctant to do so himself, she hugged him again. His body didn't stiffen like it used to do, but seemed to relax under her touch. He was getting stronger, both mentally and physically, and his demons seemed to be losing their strength.
"It'll be better love, I'm sure of it."
"I'm not. There is no light left in this world."
"There isn't much light indeed, but it does exist. You just don't see it yet. And you know, we could be a bit of light."
"I can't be the man you want me to be, Mrs. Lovett. You have to accept that."
"You are the man I want you to be. All the hate, that what isn't really you. I can't and I won't be a stand-in for Lucy. I just want you to know, that I'll be there for you when the time is right. When you are ready. And in the mean time, I'll look after you, like I used to do."
She stood up to leave him to his thoughts, and she was inwardly cheering because he didn't reject her. When she left the room, he looked her in the eyes.
"Thank you, Mrs. Lovett," he said sincerely.
It wasn't much, but to her it was like he had agreed on marrying her. And maybe he would do one day.
Anthony went upstairs to see Sweeney Todd and he walked past Mrs. Lovett who was going downstairs. He greeted her politely, but she didn't notice. There was a happy smile on her face, which made her look like a young girl.
When he entered the shop, he was surprised again. The barber wasn't staring out of the window, nor was he studying his blades. He was eating the meal that Mrs. Lovett probably just had offered him. He didn't look as threatening anymore as he used to do, and when he was eating quietly he almost looked peaceful.
Anthony smiled hopefully before speaking to Mr. Todd. When the time was right, maybe everything would be good again.