AN: Well, for those of you who read my other one shot for this category of Sweeney Todd awesomeness, this is gonna be a bit different, because it's a multiple chapter thing, and...
It's not quite as serious. You'll read it, and say, "No, it is."
But I'm writing this for the laughs, and because...I couldn't resist.
If you read the description, chances are you've guessed what this, and if you thought to yourself, "Sounds a bit like Kill Bill", then you're dead on. This is a Sweeney Todd parody of Kill Bill. But, it's all in good taste, I promise you, and you don't need to have seen the movie (in fact, the storyline isn't the same at all, it's simply taking the idea of Kill Bill, you know?)
So, it's really more of a tribute.
I've always loved those movies, and once I saw the movie version of Sweeney Todd, this idea instantly popped in my head. The idea of doing this at all, however, was inspired by the best fanfic I've ever read, "Death Rides a Bicycle" by the author Incanto, which was a Kill Bill parody for an obscure (but hysterical) anime called Excel Saga. Go read it, because it is absolutely amazing.
Now, that's not to say this story will be very, very similar to the Kill Bill storyline, because, truthfully, I did change things around a bit. If you get confused, don't worry, because I'll explain anything that seems odd in these handy Author Notes!
Note: This fic is based off the 2007 movie version of Sweeney Todd, with Johnny Depp, etc. etc. But it borrows from both musical versions.
So...This is the prologue/credits, which will show off the "cast" and...Well.
I own not the wonderful cinematic adventures that are Sweeney Todd and Kill Bill vol. 1 and 2. Nor do I own Johnny Depp, but boy, if I did...
Prologue: A Bloody Evening
If one were to ask Beadle Bamford, head of the constabulary, if he was ever afraid of patrolling the streets at night, he would first straighten the lapels on his coat, and sniff haughtily, as if the very idea was preposterous. But, leaning in, he'd tip his hat, and whisper that yes, he was frightened sometimes, of walking those dark alleys. But it was not the brothels that bothered him, nor was it the opium parlors, or the black market streets. No, he wasn't afraid of those silly places, where common criminals sat in corners, leering at you, daring you to come closer, closer...
The place that frightened him, the great Beadle, was not any of those streets. It was Fleet Street, located in a fairly friendly quarter of London, on a street always bustling with people, lamps blazing and people selling goods.
But something about Fleet Street made the Beadle uneasy. Smoke rose in billowing clouds from a pie shop across the way, like black hands extending from Hell up to the grey sky, wafting an eerie, unpleasant smell up into the air, a metallic scent he could not quite place, but knew was familiar.
He would tell you of the man, lurking in his upstairs shop, a polite man, with good morals and a respect for the law, whose eyes were cold and dark as ice, and whose face was pale as the moon. He'd tell you of the woman, whose face was equally as pale, with hair a deep red, and eyes that glanced upwards toward her tennant's room, longingly.
But, of course, no one would ever ask the Beadle such a question, and on this particular night, a cold January evening, when the lamps were dimming and stars flickered in the sky, he did not wish to describe such odd things, especially since he was charged with patrolling the market quarter this night, which included Fleet Street. Speaking of such abnormal people, and the eerie darkness that loomed over the whole street's buildings and road, when he was faced with walking down it, was not a pleasant thing.
Rounding the corner, he gave a deep sigh, and stepped out onto the cobblestones, slippery from a recent fall of rain, jaw set tightly, eyes wide and alert.
It was when he was halfway down, halfway through with this damned place, when he heard it.
A loud yell, of absolute terror, a man's voice, and then, another man's, deep and full of a fury the Beadle had never heard. It sounded like an animal, almost, a roar of victory. And looking up, he saw, in the large, slanted window above "Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pies", a long streak of blood fly against the glass, and the figure of Sweeney Todd. Another yell, and a glint of silver which he could not make out, and he saw, vividly, a man's body, pressed against the window, bleeding from the neck, and Beadle Bamford realized that it was none other than Judge Turpin.
It suddenly became clear, why Mr. Todd's eyes glittered oddly whenever they caught the other's eye passing in the street, or why the man had looked oddly familiar.
"Benjamin Barker!" He whispered, horrified.
Blood, blood, blood, running down that large glass pane, and the Beadle Bamford, head of the constabulary, a man of honor who did all he could to help his friends and neighbors, turned and ran, ran as fast as he ever had, since he was a boy, heart pounding and mind reeling in absolute terror.
He did not blow his whistle in alert, or even try to locate another officer.
The Beadle Bamford went home, and sat up all night, holding his cane in one hand and a pistol in another, drinking gin after gin, breathing heavily.
Mrs. Lovett heard the noise coming from upstairs, sighing to herself as she bustled nervously about the pie shop, shifting knives and cleavers from one place to the other, willing herself not to cry.
Faintly, she could hear little Toby, pounding on the metal door to the cellar, crying something about letting him out. She knew full well she couldn't do that, risking everything just to be kind to the small boy, but...
He had been good to her, a good worker, and somehow, a comfort to her. She could walk up to him, and ruffle his hair, pulling from him a large smile, and she'd feel better. She'd even like to think of him as a son, but knew that was a bit too much. No, not a son, though he thought of her as a sort of mother, she suspected.
Anyhow, she thinks, no need to linger on that now. She leaned down, grabbing the bowl of flour from the counter, and dropping it heavily into the wash bin, which needed to be rinsed out someday soon. Maybe...maybe she could convince Toby that it was all for good, and that she'd take care of him, so he didn't have to be afraid. And then, once he'd calmed down and agreed to never tell a soul about this little business, she'd have him do these dishes.
There's more yells from upstairs, and she hears Mr. Todd's heavy boots thumping loud and fast on the wood, running, presumably.
She ponders going upstairs, armed with a knife and frying pan, to help him, because from the sound of it, the poor man isn't having such luck getting the old Judge to give up the fight and die. But she refrains from doing so, if only for the reason that she knows Mr. T, and knows he'd bloody well murder her too, if she even so much as climbed one step while he was up there, killing the man who ruined his life. And she's not too keen to die, not now, anyways.
She gives another heavy sigh, trying her best to ignore all these very distracting noises, and flips an errant strand of hair out of her face.
It'll all be just smashing, after this, she thinks, drifting off to her favorite daydream of being married to her beloved Sweeney Todd, living by the sea in comfort. She can almost feel the salt air, and hear the pounding of the ocean waves against the rocks...
And she whirls around, just in time to see a man falling down the stairs outside her shop, bloodied, bruised and scared out of his wits. His graying hair is spattered with blood, and his face is smeared with it, purpled in places where Mr. Todd no doubt hit him hard with the back of his fist. She recognizes him as the Judge, but it's only from his polished and expensive shoes that she knows it's him, for his face is too mussed to see any features. Getting up rather quickly from his place on the stairs, he limps off into the street, yelling at the top of his lungs, blood running down his mouth. He sounds unrecognizable, rasping and choking, and she imagines it's probably due to the puncture in his throat, which is also gushing the red stuff, staining his cravat and nice suit.
Pounding boots on the stairs, quick as anything, tell her that her Mr. Todd has not given up on this prey yet, and her heart gives a jolt of fear. If he's seen...
Grabbing her rolling pin, she opens the shop door, barely hearing the bell give its familiar jingle, and walks straight up behind the Judge, and hitting him hard over the head. There's a sickening crunch as the wood makes contact, and she's reminded of the bodies sliding swiftly down to the cellar below, landing right on their heads. The man crumples easily, already weakened and slowed by his wounded leg, which she now sees is dripping blood as well. Footsteps behind Mrs. Lovett tell her that Sweeney Todd is now almost at equal distance from the Judge's body. Turning, she gives him her best disapproving look.
He's covered in the stuff, red all over his face and shoulder, his head bleeding from a heavy blow that she imagines is what helped the filthy Judge to escape. Fury's in his eyes, a wild look on his face as he advances, and quickly, she puts her hands on his chest, whispering soothingly.
"Now, now, Mr. T...'E's knocked out now, you'll be able to kill 'im still. Shh, we can't have him killed out here. Where are we, Mr. Todd? You have any idea at all?"
He's breathing fast under her touch, angry, but she's making sense. He rasps: "Outside. In th' street."
Nodding, she smiles. "Good, now, we don't want to get caught now, do we? So let's give me a hand 'ere with the brute's body an' we'll see to waiting til he wakes up, alright?"
His face twists into a pained expression, like a young boy who's being pulled away from his game at the last moment, ruining the victory, but his common sense (what's left of it, anyways) finally gets the better of him, and he nods slowly, crouching and roughly grabbing the man's shoulders, and dragging him into the shop, a trail of blood running behind.
The door is left open as the two of them, conspirators, sometimes companions, two ghosts with evil trailing them, the pair of them walk downstairs into the cellar, shouldering the heavy Judge's body, saying nothing.
Upstairs, Anthony is leaving his beloved Johanna to stay in the barbershop until he returns. She's speaking of nightmares, and he cups her face in his hands, kissing her gently and soothing her fears. But as soon as he leaves, she's got this feeling, like she's been here before, like...maybe, once, this was home. She's suddenly afraid to leave, to run away from this familiar feeling of belonging, but she knows she can't stay, or the ghosts will catch up. Neither of them notice the stairs are covered with a trail of blood, or that around the barber's chair, there's an already drying pool of red.
Downstairs, in the pie shop, an old beggar woman is singing quietly, a song she's known from somewhere before, but can't place where she's heard it. Running a hand along the threadbare couch, she's overcome with nostalgia. Hadn't she sat in here, every day, mourning her darling, gone away, while that woman...the devil woman, she stood in the corner, not listening...not, not...
Whirling about the room, the woman gives a high, tittering laugh. Oh, the room is full of little birds, and sunlight, and...and...Turning again, she hobbles down the cellar steps, murmuring something about smoke.
Sign of the devil, sign of the devil.
Sweeney Todd jerks his arm back, mechanically, as the beggar woman collapses easily on the cellar floor, throat pouring precious rubies, beautiful...He stares at the body, and imagines it's still warm, but doesn't bother checking as he leans down to grab her arms and drag her over to the grinder, but he's stopped by a long, low moan from nearby the oven. Looking up, he sees Mrs. Lovett, clutching the handle of the bakehouse door, knuckles white as she stares like a scared animal at the dead beggar woman. He frowns, suddenly uneasy.
"What is it?" He snaps the question, irritable enough already, too focused on his purpose (killing the Judge, of course) to bother with this silly little episode of his landlady's.
She turns her head, staring at him, mouth open, and then, quick as anything, changes the expression into one of jovial humour. Shaking her head, she nods to the dead woman.
"Nothin'. Just...shocked, is all. I didn't think you'd kill 'er. She's just some old woman, what escaped from bedlam or what have you...That's quite awful, Mr. Todd."
His gaze falls back onto the body at his feet, halfway through a chuckle at this statement. Awful, eh? He opens his mouth to give a reply, and stops.
The mad woman's hair has a shine in the flickering light from the fire, revealing itself to be a golden color. His heart gives a dreadful lurch, and he crouches down, reaching tentatively out to turn her face to the side, brushing hair tenderly out of her eyes, and--
Noise is roaring in his ears, deafening, as everything he's worked for, everything he's lived his life for, since returning, crashes down around him. She was alive, after all...She took poison, but she was...
He lifts his head, the realization dawning upon him as he stares at Mrs. Lovett, who's biting her lip, still holding that bakehouse door...
"You. You lied to me." His voice suddenly sounds so raw and dry, nothing like the voice he remembers as his own, when he was a barber, and his wife was beautiful...Turning to the blood pool around his Lucy, he catches his reflection. He's shocked to see a vicious looking man, with a shock of black hair, and hate in his eyes. Had he always looked like the dead itself?
"You knew...You knew she lived." He points a finger, accusing, at the woman he had almost considered a friend. Almost considered her worthy enough to build a new life with, after all of this...She shakes her head rapidly, eyes pleading as she backs away slowly, towards the door.
"No, no, no, I never lied, I..."
He ignores her excuses, turning back to his wife. Oh, if only he had spared her one second, if only he had shown mercy. But he was a monster now, wasn't he? Yes, he wasn't Benjamin Barker, out for revenge. He truly was Sweeney Todd now, a man incapable of love or mercy. He hadn't shown hesitation, or even remorse. She was just one dead woman, until he saw...
Standing, he still can't bear to take his eyes away from her. She's aged, but so has he, and even now, dirty and unkempt, she's lying on her side as if in the untroubled sleep of the angels. She was beautiful.
Behind him, he hears Mrs. Loved, still talking, and he's not listening until she reaches out, touching his shoulder in a way he would'vie once thought almost endearing, but now, turns away from in disgust.
"Yes, I lied, but...I did it because I love you, d'you hear me? I love you! Mr. Todd!"
He says nothing, and hears her give a strangled cry of frustration.
The idea is in his head as quick as she says his old name, brilliant and glorious.
Whirling, he gives her a grin, and opens up his arms.
"Mrs. Loved, you're a bloody wonder, eminently practical, and yet, appropriate as always, Mrs. Lovett, and as you've said repeatedly, there's little point in dwelling on the past!"
She steps quickly back, obviously frightened and not fooled at all, but he presses on, knowing she's quick to give into any affection he'll show her. It'll be her downfall. They dance, and he pulls her close, smelling that cheap perfume she always wears, pulling her to him until he can cross both arms around her waist, reaching around to his waist to draw out his razor, all the while spouting silly lies about going to the sea, being happy (How can he ever be happy? But he knows one answer.), and marriage. She's speaking of love and of caring for him, how it was for the best, and suddenly, she leans in, kissing his cheek.
They freeze, and he looks up, clutching the razor behind her back as he continues to smile, and she gives him a look of genuine affection.
"Thank you." She whispers it, hands threading through his hair.
"Yes, well," he beings, pulling the razor up, up, so it's right at her shoulder now, "Life...is for the alive, my dear."
She opens her mouth, looking supremely happy, and ever-so-trusting, to reply to this, and he drives the razor into her shoulder with all the force he can muster.
The hands in his hair go limp with the shock of it, and she gives a quiet gasp, as blood spouts like a gorgeous fountain from her pale skin, running down her dress in little rivers. Mrs. Lovett stumbles back, looking so hurt and in such pain.
Good, that's excellent, he thinks, as he strides towards her, noise rising to a crescendo in his head, a roar of strings and crashing metal, pushing him to kill her. He wants her to hate him, to hate him, and hurt, hurt so badly she'll want to die, just like he did. Just like him.
"Now, come here, my love, nothing to fear my love, what's dead is dead!"
She trips, falling on her back, and he lunges forward, sliver glinting in his hand as he cocks his shoulder back...
It feels like days, but she's sure it's only been a matter of minutes, and she's got cuts on her arm and shoulder. He's propped her up into a sitting position right against the bakehouse door, and her entire back is exploding in pain as the hot metal makes contact. She curses the day she ever thought buying this low-backed dress would've done her some good, and made him notice her. She refuses to cry, gritting her teeth and hating this stupid man, who's never understood that she'd do anything to make him happy.
He's standing over her, head tilted to the side as he stares at the damage done. Such a bloody fool, what good would it have done, to take care of a woman long past death, poisoned and not right in her brain?
She feels the unfairness, and hates herself for believing he'd ever let her into his arms without taking something away.
So I suppose I'm going to die.
A strong hand grabs her wounded shoulder roughly, pulling her to her feet briefly before pushing her right back down. The razor in his hand rings metallic as he moves those dexterous fingers and it clicks all the way open, almost like a gun.
She can't breathe well, lying on her back, blood in her mouth running down in her throat and her back, her back hurts. He smirks, those deep, black eyes shining like the night sky, victorious.
"You see this, Mrs. Lovett? This...is me at my most sadistic."
She gives a little gasp of pain, tears finally welling up, and she closes her eyes.
I really did love you, Sweeney Todd.
There is a brief, blindingly intense pain across her throat, and she faints.
Toby's been running through the sewers for an hour now, panicked and scared out of his wits. There was yelling, and people, people in the grinder...
Breathing a sigh of relief, he spots the grate to the cellar, and sprints across the slimy stone, prying at the rusted metal.
It gives a loud screech as he lifts it, and he freezes momentarily, stomach clenching as he thinks of the finger in the pie, and the foot...the foot in the grinder. He doesn't want to be caught, more than anything.
Deciding it's alright, he grabs the slippery rim of the opening, pulling his small body up and out of the sewers. Despite the horrid smell in the cellar, he feels a rush of relief for his senses as he inhales the scent of cooking flour, and blood.
There's a quiet, choking sob from a corner of the room, and Toby turns, eyes widening in horror at the sight of Mr. Todd's back, spattered in blood, and his wild mane of black hair. His breath catches in a gasp before he can stop it, and the frightening man's head wheels 'round, wild eyes scanning him, sizing him up. Then he stands and Toby sees what he's been kneeling over.
He's never seen a dead body before, or at least, he's never seen the body of anyone he knew.
There's Mrs. Lovett (in his head, he calls her mum, even though he knows she wouldn't like that), blood spattered, eyes closed in pain, throat cut unevenly. Hot tears are coming in his eyes now, and he steps toward the door, glaring angrily at this Mr. Todd, this enemy, a killer.
He's a killer.
Sensing Toby's making to run, the man shakes his head, his face in an expression of absolute grief.
"Toby, boy," he begins, stopping to choke on another sob, "I stopped him, but...the Judge. He thought our dear Mrs. Lovett was me. He killed her. I swear to you, Toby, it was not me who did this."
Even with the fear, Toby is not afraid. He stamps one small foot, and shakes his head.
"No, I don't believe you. You killed 'er, and--"
His gaze travels to the grinder, and gasps to see the old beggar woman, dead, and an unconscious Judge Turpin. And the sight plants a seed of doubt in his mind. What if this mad man, Sweeney Todd, is telling the truth? Mrs. Lovett...she always trusted him, loved him. Maybe he was a good man, who had gone sour. Toby bites his lip.
"That Judge...'e killed 'er, then? Why should I ever believe you're tellin' the truth?"
Sweeney Todd's face becomes as stiff as anything, mouth turning up slightly, in a mournful smile. He steps tentatively closer to Toby, and whispers:
"She is possibly the only woman that could've convinced me to be human again."
It's enough, Toby thinks, gazing at this man, who's like a caged animal. He nods slowly. Besides, he thinks, where else has he to go, and who else to take care of him? He won't breathe a word of the other killings, or this event. Perhaps Mr. Todd may even come to be a sort of friend. He'll try, for her, at least. His almost mother.
"What about him, then? The Judge? You gonna kill 'im?"
There is suddenly a great pounding of fists on glass, and yells from outside. The police..?
Sweeney Todd turns, frowning, and heaves a great sigh. Looking back at Toby, he shakes his head slowly, as if this decision is one he truly regrets.
"No, not now, at least," he says, grabbing his shabby grey coat off the floor and slipping it on his slight frame, "Trust that I will, soon. But now...We've got to get out of London. We've no doubt caused some sort of scene...They will have us hanging tomorrow for this, if we're caught. You need anything from the parlor, run off now, boy, and be quick. Don't let them see you. We're leaving the way you came in."
Toby gives another stiff nod, and then advances past him, to stand at Mrs. Lovett's body. "I...I'm gonna say goodbye. Then we can leave."
The man gives a stiff nod, and then turns away. Toby ignores him for now, kneeling down at her body. He touches her hand, and sniffs.
"I didn't protect you, like I said I would, mum. But...But I'll make it up to you, I promise. I'm gonna try and take of Mr. Todd...I know that's what you would've wanted. Goodbye."
He kisses her forehead gently (like a son), jogging over to Mr. Todd, and jumping back into the sewers.
Looking into the grimy water, he's shocked to find his hair has turned white.
In the cellar, Judge Turpin awakes to a cacophony of footsteps, wheezing and tasting blood. His head feels like it's on fire, and his throat is stinging awfully. Arms grab him, lifting him up stairs, yelling orders. He closes his eyes.
On a boat, headed for Cairo, Anthony and Johanna sit on the deck, holding hands, and the young girl begins to cry. Anthony asks her what's wrong, but she shakes her head. He can't understand; she feels as if she's leaving something very important. Wiping her eyes, she tells him she's just tired.
Beadle Bamford takes another shot of cheap gin, and checks his rifle to make sure it's loaded and ready.
Sweeney Todd stands on the docks with Toby, soaking wet from rinsing the blood from his clothes in the harbor's waters, and waits for a carriage to arrive. He's clutching his razor (the only one now) tightly to his chest, and it's the only thing that's warm.
Toby breaks into his urge to cry, and leans over the edge of the dock, sobbing in great, heaving gasps as a little boy reflected in the salty ocean below cries too, his hair the color of baking flour.
On the bakehouse floor, police scurry about, talking quickly. Then, one turns, yelling to his captain, pointing at the dead woman in flashy clothing. Everyone gathers around, watching this pale, tragic figure.
Suddenly, unexpectedly, Mrs. Lovett breathes.
A PeppermintRevolver production:
The History of the World
Roll those opening credits, folks.
He was five and I was six
We rode on horses made of sticks
He wore black and I wore white
He would always win the fight
Mrs. Lovett as the Bride a.k.a. Beatrix Kiddo
Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker as Bill
Bang, bang; he shot me down
Bang, bang; I hit the ground
Bang, bang; that awful sound
Bang, bang; my baby shot me down...
Tobias Ragg as B.B. Kiddo, Esteban Vallejo
Anthony, Johanna, Beadle Bamford and Judge Turpin as
The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad
Mrs. Mooney and her son, Edward Mooney as Hattori Hanzo and Pai Mei
AN: Well, that's the prologue.
I realize it's quite violent, but it won't be as bad from now on...Besides, if you don't like it, why did you go see Sweeney Todd?!
Reviews and criticism are very appreciated, but if this seems a little weird (a parody is usually weird), I assure you, I understand, and I'm doing the best I can to make the two stories as integral as possible. Please point out any typos spell check doesn't catch, thanks.
Next Chapter: Part I: A Recount of Events