"New assistant? Why do you need an assistant Mr. T?" Mrs. Lovett whispered.
Sweeney ignored the question, looking down to Ishmael. The boy didn't move, only stood where he was as if his feet were rooted to the ground. Sweeney couldn't help but let out a small laugh under his breath before he turned from their view, a firm look on his face. He had to think of a way to get Judge Turpin in his shop, and at the same time make it to where this new lad would be able to learn from what Sweeney did all the time.
Sweeney stood silently for a moment, contemplating what he should do. He could train the boy under him, though it may be a bit…odd. He had never taken an assistant before and starting now would seem different to him, somewhat not normal. Of course, he couldn't just let the boy run free now that he knew who Sweeney was and he was trying to escape Beatle. And Beatle never forgot.
Running his fingers over the pouches at his side that held his blades, Sweeney thought for a split second before turning on his heel and facing the two people in the room. Mrs. Lovett held a rolling pin, her sleeves rolled up to her elbows. She was, as normal, covered in what seemed to be flour, but no one really knew what that white stuff was. Ishmael still stood where he was, his head slightly lowered and his bangs hanging somewhat in his face as he waited.
Sweeney thought, looking between them before looking to Mrs. Lovett. They had to get some money in, and there was no way in his right mind that he would sell any trinket up in his shop. They were all his memories of his love, Lucy, and of his long lost daughter Johanna. So those were staying. As for Mrs. Lovett's personal items, it didn't seem she had any. And by the looks of Ishmael, he didn't have a penny on him. So, without another thought, Sweeney started toward the door.
"Mr. Todd…where ya goin'?" Mrs. Lovett asked, starting to follow him after setting the rolling pin down.
"Out. Come on Ishmael. You come too. We're going to get us some shillings even if we have to…kill for it." Sweeney murmured.
There was slight hesitation before Ishmael followed. The three of them set off, walking along the streets while skimming some areas. It turned out that a Mr. Pirelli was to be here and was a famous barber. Sweeney scoffed at the thought and pressed through the crowd, ignoring looks of disgust. He continued on, staring up at the stage and the boy that was trying to sell some 'elixir' to the men in the crowd.
He stood for a few minutes, Mrs. Lovett and Ishmael on either side of him. When the bottle of yellow liquid came to his area, he took the lid off and sniffed. Instantly he regretted doing so. The bottle smelled horribly of urine and maybe something more that he couldn't put his finger on. Sweeney shook his head and passed it to Mrs. Lovett.
"What is this?" Sweeney asked.
"What is this?" Mrs. Lovett mocked, almost like a parrot.
"Smells like piss."
"This is piss. Piss with ink."
"Wouldn't touch it if I was you, dear."
When the boy heard Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett, he increased his words, trying to get someone to buy 'Pirelli's Magical Elixir' or something of the sort. Sweeney continued his insults, watching as Mrs. Lovett did the same. Ishmael looked between the two and then up toward the boy. They passed a silent moment before he turned his eyes back to Sweeney in slight confusion.
Moments later, a man stepped out, his form tall and thing. He wore purple, a cloak around his shoulders as well. Black hair was parted and slicked to the side, showing a small line of skin where it was parted. He glared down at the audience, skimming the crowd with a look of pure disgust and anger. Sweeney stared back, crossing his arms casually over his chest.
"Who is this, which calls my elixir piss?" Pirelli demanded.
The crowd grew utterly silent.
Sweeney looked around. "I did. I called that thing you call an elixir piss."
Pirelli looked to Sweeney, glaring a challenge toward the man. Sweeney smirked somewhat, slowly walking toward him. The crowd parted for Sweeney, allowing him through as he did so. Sweeney was soon at the stage. He pulled the two blades from the pouches, flicking them open as smoothly as ever. Pirelli eyed him suspiciously before looking down at the blades.
"…what is this?"
"I challenge you Pirelli. I challenge that my blade can shave a man ten times as rough and make him smoother than you can, and faster. If I win, you give me five hundred shillings. If you wish, you get these. They are pure silver, and worth more than five hundred shillings even." Sweeney said, flicking them closed and putting them away.
There was another moment of silence.
"Then let the challenge begin!" Pirelli announced.
Sweeney nodded his head before starting to walk to the stairs. He stepped up them, spotting Beatle and glaring some. He continued on, hearing Pirelli call upon two men to come up for a free shave. He then set out some things and waited silently. Pirelli called upon Beatle to judge the tournament. From the corner of his eyes, he spotted Ishmael slightly move forward, but stay behind Mrs. Lovett. The boy was smart, he would give him that.
Beatle stepped up slowly onto the stage. "On the count of three. One…two…three."
Instantly, Pirelli started to sharpen the blade, being non to careful of what he was doing or the harm he was causing the boy who held the leather. Sweeney picked the leather that was strapped to his pants up, holding it as he gently ran the blade up and down six times on each side. By the time he was done, Pirelli had applied the shaving cream over the mans face sloppily and was starting to shave him. Sweeney, on the other hand, was taking his time. He started to apply the cream slowly, carefully. It was just his way of doing things. Pirelli was already half finished. Sweeney stepped in front of the man, eyeing him before, in a swift five strokes, he had him shaved. Not a scratch on him. Beatle stared before clicking the watch to stop.
"The winner…is Sweeney Todd!"
Pirelli looked up and glared, pure venom shooting from his eyes. Sweeney glanced up from cleaning his blades before putting them away. He held his gloved hand out, waiting. There was a moment of silence before Pirelli passed the money into Sweeney's hand and smirked. Sweeney walked off the stage, heading back to Mrs. Lovett and Ishmael. Pirelli was shouting something, hitting the boy toward the back room at the same time. When he got to Mrs. Lovett, she was murmuring about how she didn't like seeing a boy being abused.
Sweeney looked to Ishmael; whom had a look of awe and horror on his face. Eyes narrowing, Sweeney looked behind himself to find Beatle approaching. He stared, waiting silently before seeing Beatle staring up at him with interest. Ishmael shied away, moving behind Mrs. Lovett and looking around to act like he wasn't interested.
"That was a good shave you did, Mr. Todd." Beatle said.
Sweeney nodded, "Stop by sometime. I'll give you the closest shave you've ever had."
Beatle smirked and nodded. "Will do. Good day, Mr. Todd."
Sweeney nodded, slowly turning around and facing the two. He stared toward them before nodding his head and starting off. Ishmael was first to follow, right on his heels like a puppy while Mrs. Lovett started to walk behind them, trying to catch up to Sweeney. Ishmael looked around, noticing where they were. He looked up, seeing a smith shop not far in front of them. Sweeney walked into it, looking around slowly before approaching the man.
They spoke for a few moments, Sweeney asking what they could do and the smith nodding his head and explaining. Sweeney took a form from him, filling it out before passing some coins into the mans hand. They exchanged a few more words before he walked back to Ishmael and Mrs. Lovett, a sheet of paper in his hand. He held it out to Ishmael watching as the boy took and got a confused look.
"What is this?"
"Your receipt. I ordered you a set of six blades. If you are to work under me, you are to have your own set of blades. They'll be in in one week. So you better remember to pick them up. Understood?"
Ishmael nodded, slowly looking up to Sweeney. This man was doing so much for him. And he would work his best to make what they were doing right. He was going to end up being the best barber London had ever known, whether he hurt himself while doing so or not. Sweeney smirked down at him, reaching forward and ruffling his hair only slightly before he turned and started back to the shop, Mrs. Lovett and Ishmael by his side.