Disclaimer: I don't own anything, except for a part of the plot.
Many thanks to Mary for beta reading.
Sweeney Todd was staring to the door of his barber shop, hoping the Judge would arrive so he finally would have vengeance. But the Judge didn't come, nor any other customers on whose throats he could practice.
The pouring rain would prevent them from coming, or maybe they started to feel the strange atmosphere the shop, the barber's dead eyes, or people noticed how few of his customers ever left his shop through the front door.
Usually, on those cold, grey and dull days, he heard nothing but the rain, not even his own breath, and he liked it that way. But today Mrs. Lovett and Toby laughed loud every once and a while.
O, Mrs. Lovett. What would he do without her? Not much, but that didn't mean she could try to seduce him all the time the way she did. Or better: tried, for how could he love someone else than his Lucy?
The sound of Mrs Lovett's laugh reached him again through the ceiling. It annoyed him. He liked the silence and didn't want it to be disturbed, and besides, her laugh was so... cheerful.
He decided to go downstairs, there weren't any customers anyway. Not because he wanted her company - of course not, even the idea was completely ridiculous – but just to check what she was up to. God only knew what that silly woman could cause.
A minute later, when he opened the door to her shop, the little bell jingled; always in a merrier way than the one on his door did. He was greeted with the warmth from the room, which was even to his cold bones a relief after the chilliness from outside, and even his own room.
The happy laugher from Mrs. Lovett and Toby filled the air. Their backs didn't face him, yet they didn't look up at the sound of the bell. He was almost curious about the thing that absorbed their attention
"Try this Toby, this is really nice," she said wile handing him something. The boy ate it, and according his reaction it was very good.
"This certainly is the best, Mum," he said excited.
"Do you think so? I liked the second one very much too… well, let's do both. We can afford it now after all."
She smiled brightly and although it wasn't to him, to Sweeney it felt like an invitation to join their business. He had nothing better to do after all, he told himself.
"What's this?" he asked Mrs. Lovett.
"O, Mr. T., is that you?" she asked, still smiling.
Somehow her reaction was a relief; usually he scared people if he appeared so silently like he just did.
"O yes, of course, who else? No customers at this hour, especially not with all that rain, so Toby and I have been inventing new pies this morning."
He wasn't really interested – he had expected their joy to be caused be something that was a bit more exiting than just pies. But the fire was warm, the ambiance relaxed and friendly, and that smell… it definitely wasn't a priest, or a poet, or whatever kind of human flesh.
"It's chocolate," Mrs. Lovett said, like she could read his mind. "I bought it yesterday. I couldn't afford it before, no matter how much I wanted to, but business is booming now.
I thought we all deserved a bit extra, so we made those this morning, and Toby and I liked them so much, we actually want to sell them… don't worry, just to have some more choice for the customers, of course we won't stop selling… well, your customers. We just can sell those as well… the ones we don't eat ourselves, anyway."
She and Toby giggled. It was clear they had been 'testing' the pies for quite sometime. Good thing, he observed, they could use some food. Toby especially, for he was young and needed to grow, but it wasn't bad for Mrs. Lovett too. For a few seconds he allowed himself to watch her. She looked definitely better than a few weeks ago. Her cheeks weren't so pale anymore, she had gained some weight so she didn't look so painfully skinny, and…
"Is that dress you are wearing new, Mrs. Lovett?"
It amused him he surprised and flattered her with the question.
"You're the only one who notices," she said while she blushed.
Toby didn't need to see Mrs. Lovett reddened cheeks to understand she wanted some privacy. She never said anything about it and although he didn't really trust the man, he sensed her fondness for Mr. Todd. He picked up a broom and started to clean the part of the store that was as far away from Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd as possible.
"I left one for you," she said softly to the barber, handing him the last chocolate pie. "I didn't expect you to ever eat it, since you hardly eat anything, but…"
"Thank you, Mrs. Lovett," he said, to his own surprise, sincerely.
He briefly wondered what was wrong with him; he wasn't supposed to feel this slight hint of joy in his heart. But Mrs. Lovett's smile was so sweet, he couldn't refuse.
While trying not to taste too much because he expected it to taste horrible, he bit of a small part of the pie. To his surprise it was good – really good. He eyed the pie, which definitely didn't look as bad as he thought it would have – just dough and inside and on top of it was the chocolate. He took another bite, and another one, enjoying the heavenly flour until the very last crumble.
"This is truly delicious, Mrs. Lovett."
He couldn't suppress a smile while saying it.
"You're welcome, Mr. Todd. To me it means more if you like it than a hundred happy customers.
The warmth was not only in his body, but spread through his entire system, eventually even reaching his dark heart. It was almost a shock, after all those years of depression and hate. All that unfamiliar joy… all because of the food, or was it…
"Mrs. Lovett, there's some chocolate on your cheek."
Randomly she moved her hand against her cheek to wipe it away, but she just missed it.
"No, it's here…"
He pointed to it, and this time she reached the right place, but only spread the chocolate more over her skin.
Before he fully realized what he was doing, he wiped the chocolate away himself, brushing and caressing her cheek accidentally while doing so. Dumbstruck she watched him and he was almost paralysed because of what he was doing. Acting on this ridicules impulse…but somehow it wasn't ridicules, like how he would have described it ten minutes ago, but just normal, natural… right.
"I presume that was the only pie that was left?"
It was a stupid question to ask, she had just said herself that she had left the last pie for him, but he needed to say something, so he wouldn't make a complete fool of himself.
"Except for what is on our hands, we have eaten everything."
Her eyes bored straight into his, and for the first time he looked in them, really saw them, and how brown and sparkling they were. Brown like the chocolate but somehow alive, filled with joy, energy, and adoration and love. Always when she looked at him it had been there, but only now he was capable of actually seeing it. If her eyes would've been made of liquid chocolate he surely could've drowned in them, so lost he was, so far way form the hate and pain.
"Mr. Todd, I..."
"Hush…" he whispered, fearing the moment the of fragile happiness would be gone if he couldn't secure it somehow, made it more real.
He took her hand and brought it to his lips. Her eyes widened when he put her fingers in his mouth to lick and suck the chocolate from it. He closed his eyes, overwhelmed because of her closeness and the intimacy he had had to miss for such a long time.
Finally Lucy Barker didn't cause all his actions and thoughts anymore. Finally he was free from his past and the demons. And all because of the chocolate, or better: the chocolate pie maker.
Gently he released her hand and stared her in the eyes, which truly resembled the colour of milk chocolate; she was lost in his, in which from the bitterness only the colour of the chocolate had remained.
As one person they moved closer to each other, and after a brief moment of hesitation, he kissed her lips gently. Her love and tenderness surrounded him and he wondered how he ever could've lived without it, all those lonely and depressing years he had been in prison, and especially the months he had been back in London, when she had been so near all the time, longing for him.
They deepened the kiss, and he tasted the chocolate flavour, which lingered in her mouth and felt her rough yet soft hands caress his back. For a moment it felt like all the horrors from his past had never happened and there was only brightness and joy ahead.
Only when they needed to interrupt the kiss because of the lack of oxygen they finally let go. Words didn't need to be said, for everything between them, all the frustrations and problems from the past had disappeared after one kiss. He embraced her, enjoying the feeling of her warm and petite body against his when she wrapped her arms tightly around him.
In the corner of his eye she saw a customer climb the stairs to his barber shop. Sweeney smiled into Mrs. Lovett's curly hair. That man could wait. He didn't need to take lives anymore now he had found is own back. Thanks to the chocolate pie maker – and the chocolate.