Disclaimer: I do not own Sweeney Todd, and much to my despair, never will. That being said, I wouldn't worry yourself with ownership.
A/N: Let the journey begin...

Chapter One

Nellie Lovett wasn't sure if she was shivering or trembling, but she whimpered nonetheless, not feeling the thick comforter being tucked around her. She was very much lost, mentally at least, not being able to grasp at where she was. All she could focus on was her head pounding heavily, her eyes swollen. Her mind was a foggy mist, nothing clear, only now realizing that her eyes were closed. After what seemed like ages, the baker forced herself to open her eyes.

Despite her blurred vision, she could make out a roaring fire crackling not too far away. The roaring fire...in her dusty old fire place. The fog slowly began to lift.

She was home, wrapped lightly with duvet that she kept in her parlor. Toby was kneeling close by, holding onto the hem of her dress tightly in his small hands. Tears shimmered in his wide, worried blue eyes. His brown hair was disarray and he looked like the young thing he was, for once, almost feeble as he gazed up at Nellie.

"Mrs. Lovett," spoke a gentle, husky voice from her side. Nellie turned her head in a weak motion to gaze into a pair of dark, uncertain eyes. It only took a moment to conceive that it was Sweeney Todd who was giving her this wavering glance, he who was now holding her trembling frame.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the memories were pushed into her consciousness and her chin quivered in horror. "Oh, no," she sobbed, only to hear her voice crackle, nearly gone. Nellie's eyelids fluttered, bleak images flashing behind them, overly vivid...

Five Hours Earlier

"You, Widow Lovett," the booming voice snarled, "are the world's greatest mistake." He was slowly advancing on her with wobbly legs. Nellie took a step back instinctively to only be stopped by a set of large, black iron gates. They let out a sly creak at her touch, like high pitched laughter. Hauntingly, the man's lip curled in disgust. "Your contradicting name suits you," the shadowy figure mumbled, his words dripping with an intoxicated hatred.

The man's vicious green eyes locked with hers. Mrs. Lovett stiffened and she shot him a defensive look. "Who are you?" she inquired in a hiss.

It was too dusky to make out who the man was, as he walked slowly toward her in this grimy alley way. In a hurried attempt, Nellie studied him. He was of average height, broad shoulders adding to his hardy stature. His short hair seemed to be hastily combed over to one side. The clothes he wore were sharp and clean and the tails of his dress coat blew ominously behind him. She saw his hands clench at his sides, those broad shoulders heaving veraciously.

The figure wouldn't answer her, making Nellie feel a bit insecure as he gave her a blazing glare, full of accusation. It wasn't every day that an angry man trapped you in a deserted corner of London. Nevertheless, she set her jaw and stood tall. A fierce wind began to blow, and she held onto the skirts of her dress to steady herself.

"Who are you?" she demanded of him again, her voice sharp and clear.

All very quickly, the man lept at her. He grasped at her neck with a strong, large hand, inducing a strained gasp from Mrs. Lovett. In an instant, she could make out exactly who her enemy was.

Judge Turpin leaned close to her ear and Nellie could feel his unshaven jaw brush against her cheek. His breath was laced heavily with whiskey. She tried to yell but couldn't with the decreasing amount of air. "You are worthless, nothing but a pebble in ones shoe." He paused, his grip tightening. Nellie desperately attempted to pry his hand from her neck, her large brown eyes clouding with fear.

"If it wasn't for you, I'd be married to Lucy!" His deep voice shook with a wild fury and she shuddered. "If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't of sent Benjamin Barker away. You were the one that helped him live in this bloody town, you were the one that allowed him to meet Lucy--" Turpin's words were cut short, though, as Nellie found it now a suitable time to knee him forcefully in the groin.

He suddenly let go of her neck, falling to the ground. Mrs. Lovett's chest heaved and she took in a gasping breath, running aimlessly away from this madman. "Mr. Todd!" she yelled despairingly, only around the corner from her pie shoppe. All she had been doing was getting some taffies for the boys. It was all she had been doing...

Turpin glanced up her retreating form and let out a drunken yell, scrambling to his feet to run and grasp her roughly by the shoulders. He threw her quickly back to corner of the alley way and Mrs. Lovett wailed again for Mr. Todd, Toby, anybody. Her head collided painfully with the iron gates and then again with the cold ground. She let out a horrible moan but still tried to scoot away from the enraged man. Nellie was stopped abruptly by a sharp kick in the stomach, making her exhale with a pained sob.

Judge Turpin fell somewhat to his knees to place a cold hand over her mouth. His other hand grabbed onto some of her curls to move her head closer to his. "You will not make a sound," he slurred, appearing to put forth a weak effort of sobering up. "If you do, I will surely make it so you are hanged in the next hour. Understood?"

Hot tears fell from her eyes that glared up at him. Turpin waited for a moment and when she still didn't comply, he shook her. "Understood?" he repeated fiercely, causing Mrs. Lovett to nod suddenly, coming out of her furious stare.

Turpin studied her face, not removing his hand from her mouth. After a breathless moment, a horrible grin graced his masculine features. "This will be over soon," he murmured in false sweetness. The way he had spoken made Mrs. Lovett realize that this wasn't the first time he had said this to a woman. Then, to Nellie's horror, he greedily began to rip at her brand new dress.

The process was terrifyingly perverse. If she tried to get out of his grasp, he would send a blow to her head. If she made a sound, another blow. For a good few minutes all Mrs. Lovett did was struggle to get away from him: kicking, punching, clawing, yelling. Still, all Judge Turpin did was beat her senselessly, again and again in the same areas until she was weak underneath him.

Running a hand through his sweaty hair, he gave her feeble state an amused smirk. "Feisty one, aren't you?" he rasped breathlessly as Nellie fell into a violent coughing fit. Turpin watched as she wheezed, hovering over her in a dominating position. "There, there, Widow Lovett," he cooed lowly, tracing a manicured fingernail across her somewhat bruised jawline.

Mrs. Lovett was revolted to say the least. She wanted to yell and beat and pummel, but couldn't. Her eyes half-closed, she found herself unable to move. All she was able to do was cry, her mocking tears filling her fierce but tired stare. But Nellie Lovett did not cry. She wouldn't loose that amount of dignity that she was clinging so desperately to.

She flicked her gaze to the sky, praying silently for some kind of higher power to help her just this once. All the while, Turpin whispered words of soft vulgarities, his low voice full of mirth. She squeezed her eyes shut as the man groped and kissed her, wishing and praying some more that she would simply fall unconscious. And yet, once the cruel Judge had made it so Nellie was almost fully exposed to himself, a terrible thought raced into her head:

Lucy Barker had been put in the exact situation fifteen years ago.

She felt a sudden guilt wash over her and it was only then that she began to cry.

A/N: You may call this an introduction, if you'd like. Or, maybe not. I'm not very decisive. Please review? It will only inspire me to write more and more :)