Note : Takes place (obviously) after Sweeney finds out the beggar woman is Lucy.
All the Difference.
Dancing in the Bake House.
It's not a silly little moment.
Can't seem to hold you like I want to.
My dear, we're slow dancing in a burning room.
Dancing, twirling, spinning, oh, it was everything she could have imagined. Even with the blood running down his face, he still looked so handsome. So perfect. And he smiled and smiled, his hands tight around her bodice, his fingers locked within hers, like he'd never let go.
Never let go… his eyes were so intense, burning into her, burning, and dark. So dark. Their footwork was perfect, never missed a beat, never tripped over a sly stone, no- they were perfect.
Yes, they were perfect. They spun through the bake house, the firelight burned bright and hot, raged out of the oven, and they were perfect.
But who cared about the fire? Mr. Todd was dancing with her. He was smiling at her, holding her, singing to her, oh it was so perfect! No- they were perfect!
All her dreams were coming true. All her waiting, finally being paid off. He was hers. Finally. Finally. She had been his for so long, almost longer than she could remember. Since she was born maybe. She had always felt it. That fantasy girls get when they're small and playing in their mother's dresses. When she envisioned her prince, the man she had seen was Benjamin.
And watching him marry Lucy… that was the hardest thing she'd ever done. But none of that mattered now. He was hers.
Perfect. Burning and perfect, and spinning, and revolving around the room. The smell didn't bother her, not the smell of the sewers nor the smell of the blood from his most recent victims. No, even now, he still smelt the same. The same as always did, the way Benjamin smelt. Men's spice and earthy musk, but oh-so sweet and perfect.
Hotter, the room was getting hotter, they spun faster. The faster they spun, the hotter it got. They were raising their temperature from their very magnetism, their very love was giving her a fever.
A life with Mr. Todd, a life forever, growing old, sharing business, by the sea, a life of staring into those dark eyes where the fire burned when he turned. And the fire got bigger in his eyes, the reflection of the bake oven. Bigger and bigger, and hotter.
Hotter. So much hotter here, now, as they spun. Shivers were erupting on her skin, even though she was sweating in heat. Shivers from- from Mr. Todd holding her. They had to be from him. They were. They were?
Joy was slowly slipping from Nellie as the world stopped turning just for a moment, a split second, just long enough for her to realize: they were moving; moving, dancing, turning, spinning, yes, but they were moving towards the fire.
Towards the fire. Oh- that grin! That grin he wore, why did it not look so happy anymore? It was mad, evil, insane, his grip was tight, no longer comforting and warm and protective, but it dug into her skin, impaling the nerves under her flesh. Bruises; he was hurting her.
Why did it not feel good? Why was that haunted look in his eyes so heavy?
The fire- he- closer, closer, closer- what was he-?
Mr. Todd! His mask fell away. He wasn't happy at all! Closer to the fire- could he be thinking-
-what she thought he was thinking?
Oh horrors, beyond her sickest nightmares were licking her skin just like heat in the room- making her shiver, making her panic. Her chest heaved as they danced, trapped forever in a slow, melodic dance to hell.
Her skin burned from the heat emanating from the fire, raging, blisters rising on her skin, too close now, too close. They weren't dancing at all; the spinning was only a distraction. How could she be fooled? How could he do this to her? Why was he so angry?
She was only thinking of him when she told him Lucy was dead. She was a beggar now, a disgusting prostitute no longer in her right mind. Not fit for a wife, not fit to live with him, take care of him, love him- she was mad!
Burning. Relentless heat. Her skin, his eyes. She wasn't sure which hurt worse, the fire from the oven or the fire from his eyes, piercing her skin and peeling it away. What had she done? How- why- what- Mr. Todd!
His hands crept, one on her neck, the other around her waist.
"Really living it!"
As he tried to let go of her and toss her into the fire as she suspected, she grabbed onto him tight, one hand fisting into his shirt and the other wrapped around his arm, holding on for her dear life.
He growled in rage and tried to claw her off of him. But she wouldn't let go. If she did, she would die. His hand, it scratched and swung at her in attempts to get her off of him, while the other squeezed around her throat as fully as he could without a proper advantage.
His thumb was pressing into her wind pipe.
"Please, Mr. Todd- no! No, I didn't mean it, I'm so sorry!"
"Get off me!" He roared, and with a mighty force, wrenched her arm from his and managed to pull the other out of his shirt and threw her to the wall, where she landed with a sickening thud.
Oh, she ached… but Mr. Todd was coming near her, advancing on her like a predator. She scrambled to her feet, but only made it to her knees, and turned to make her way to the other side of the room as fast as she could. Towards the doors. Her escape. The only one.
But if she went that way, she would have to crawl over Lucy, the judge, the beadle…
"Oh, no you don't, my love," he spat bitterly and ran right after her and quicker than she could register, he had grabbed her around her waist and hauled her into the air, as if she didn't weigh more than a stone. She flailed around but he grabbed her by her arms and was nearly lifting her off the ground as he slammed her into the wall behind her. She kicked against him, struggling, fighting as hard as she could.
She knew logically that she was no match for him, but as long as she kept struggling, he couldn't move his arms or walk to the fire and he certainly couldn't reach for his razors. He had no choice but to attempt to hold her down until she was worn out and tired.
Nellie had no choice but to plead.
"Please, Mr. Todd, don't! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, please, please, please!" She begged, tears spilling from her eyes as she tried to think of some reason for him not to kill her. She would be willing to suffer anything, anything, at his hands, but not death. She couldn't handle that.
"Oh, and why should I spare you, my love?" Nellie cringed in actual pain from his words. "Answer me- Why?" He demanded, shaking her as if the answer would come out that way.
How was he so incredibly strong?
She still twisted helplessly in his hands, although her movements weren't as hearty as before. But her strength was not yet gone, and so long as she had life in her, she would use it and she would fight. She didn't want to die, not now, not by him, her love…
"Please, you must see reason, Mr. Todd! Lucy was as good as dead when you left! It killed her! She was a beggar woman, a prostitute- it's the truth!" She added quickly at his howl of rage, "She started sleeping with men for money- I saw her, Mr. Todd, and it was horribly sad! I tried to stop her, give her some of me earnings, but she just kept wailing about-about you and the Judge and never came back! I did all I could for her, but she was gone!"
"Oh, is that so, Mrs. Lovett? Then why did she call you 'the devil's wife?' Saying there was no pity in your heart?"
Nellie swallowed the lump in her throat. "Well… well, she wasn't paying the rent. It had been a whole six months- I couldn't keep her there out of the goodness of my heart. Times was hard-"
With a howl, he lifted her off the wall and slammed her back hard, making her head rattle and her breath catch in her throat. Her vision swam with his angry snarl.
"Enough! So you threw her out to the streets, where she had no choice but to make a living the only way she could," he raged at her, fingers closing around her throat once more.
She could feel her lungs screaming at her as she still recovered from being slammed into the wall. Needed to breathe, needed air- so badly-
"Not-nece-ssarily…" she croaked, digging her fingers into his skin at an attempt to relent his grip. But he hardly seemed to notice.
Mr. Todd only scoffed. "So the kindness in your heart held her hand out of the house, did it?"
"Please…" she whispered, "Let me… explain…"
He growled, but let go enough to let her speak.
Her chest heaved as she struggled for air and kept trying to escape his strong hold on her arm. Her muscles were so, so tired, but she wasn't giving up.
"I-I gave her a choice. There was a job opening in the market for a merchant to sell jewelry. I knew the woman who was hiring and I told Lucy I could get her a job there so she could pay rent and keep living here. But she refused, saying she would never leave the room and then… that night… the beadle came. She went with him, leaving Johanna upstairs all alone and I didn't see her for almost a week after that. I waited for her to return for Johanna, but she never came.
The next morning, the Judge sent the beadle and some authorities her your shop. I had watched over her through the night, but they barged right in and took her and later she was adopted that very day. I didn't see Lucy for almost a whole month and when I finally did see her, it was when I was running to the apothecary for my… for Albert. She bought some kind of poison and blamed everything on me, for making her leave, but I hadn't at all. I was gonna get her a job with decent pay, and help her get back on her feet but… but she wasn't having any of it…"
Nellie searched his eyes desperately, hoping to the Maker that he would believe her. It was the truth. It was. She wasn't going to lie to him anymore. What would be the point?
"She… she was gone. I mean… her sanity, it was gone."
Mr. Todd remained silent, but did not let up his grip at all. Was he listening? Was he actually considering her words?
She went on hurriedly before he changed his mind.
"So-so when you came to my shop, I told you she poisoned herself," she explained, "I didn't say she was dead, Mr. Todd, but I didn't want to cause you no more pain when you saw what became of your Lucy. I thought it would sadden you to see her that way!"
She was suddenly whirled around, and he glared into her eyes, pure, utter hatred burning into her own, with no help from the shadows of the fire behind him. The reflection of the flames must have been in her eyes now. She didn't like reminding him.
Nellie blinked rapidly.
"And how do I know you're not lying again?" He asked harshly, dropping her to the floor with no care at all.
She quivered and gave a dry sob as she landed and tried to get up, but he was already kneeling over her, pinning one of her shoulders to the wall and she heard the deadly, unmistakable sound of the razor coming out of his holster, and the flipping of it's switch. The glint blinded her for a moment as he raised it in the air, stopping when the razor was parallel to his eyes.
"I'm not lying; I've never lied to you. I said that Lucy took a poison but I never said that she died, Mr. Todd. It… that just wasn't entirely… truthful." She hung her head before going on. "I did what I thought was best for you-"
"Lies!" He roared and brought the razor down.
She ducked away just in time, rolling to her side and momentarily escaping his grasp. He became so concentrated when he was about to slit a throat, he lost himself to his subconscious. She tried crawling away, but didn't get far with his knees on either side of her hips. Then he pulled her hair back and guided her head back against the wall, exposing her neck fully to him.
She was losing him; he was losing his patience.
"If-if I had known it's what you would have wanted, I would have taken you to her, I swear! I just wanted to make you happy, I just wanted-"
"Then why would you lie to me?" He countered, pressing the blade into her skin, over her hammering pulse.
"Because I love you!" She sobbed, trying not to shift under the edge of the razor. He could control her with her fear. "I love you, and I just wanted to make you happy… I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, if I could go back-"
"But we can't, now, can we, Mrs. Lovett? Lucy is dead because of you, why shouldn't I kill you?"
Nellie thought frantically.
"I helped you get your revenge with the judge. I led everyone straight to your door and I helped you cover all your tracks. I took you in and cared for you-" her lip trembled as he pressed the razor in further. "I was willing to give everything for you, I love you, I just wanted you to be happy, I can't- please, Mr. Todd, don't kill me!"
He hesitated a moment, and as soon as she felt the tension against her neck lessen, just the slightest of blunders, she reached wildly up for the razor and closed her hand around it tightly and pulled it from his grasp.
She sprang to her feet, ran around him and backed away, knocking him back to the floor. She held the razor in her bleeding palm with no intention of letting go. She trembled and shook all over, her teeth chattered against each other in her mouth and she put her lips between them to stop the shaking, the deafening sound of hard marble teeth against hard marble teeth clamoring through the room.
Mr. Todd was so… so dumbfounded, so perplexed, so shocked, he didn't even more. He just sat there on his knees, his arm still at the spot where her throat was moments ago, his hand clutching the air where her hair used to be. His face was blank, lips parted, staring back into her shining, wet eyes.
"Please, Mr. T," she murmured again. "Don't kill me."
His head turned towards her and he stared at her with empty eyes before his head snapped back in laugher. Cold, humorless, taunting laugher. It only made her cry harder and frightened her more.
"Don't kill you? Mrs. Lovett, you're holding the razor now. I've got nothing else up me sleeve. I should be begging you not to kill me," he chuckled darkly, his hands falling limp to his sides, though he remained on his knees.
Mrs. Lovett realized he was right. But-but that was just insane! She couldn't kill Mr. Todd! She was not the killer, the murderer, that was him. He killed the folk and she baked them. She still backed away, terrified of him.
"Kill me if you like, Mrs. Lovett," he said bitterly. "I've nothing to live for."
Tears welled up in her again. How much more pain could he inflict on her with just his words? She wondered. She prayed he would stop this nonsense. If he couldn't kill her, and she wouldn't kill him, then they were at a standstill.
"I-I couldn't- I can't… kill you, Mr. Todd…" she whispered. The razor shook so much in her hand. Even if she were to attempt it, she wouldn't be able to make a right cut, her hands were trembling so much.
But more importantly, and more realistically, if she even went near him now, he would spring up, take back his razor and slit her throat like all the others. Like another one of his unsuspecting customers, like another old fool who fell into his trap.
She wouldn't be like them.
"Oh? And why not? I've just tried to kill you and I failed. It's only fair you get your turn," he shrugged a little helplessly, rising to his feet.
She backed away further, even further, to keep a great distance. She was already past the door and couldn't make an escape without getting frightfully close to him.
"And-And if I fail, you'll get your turn, and we'll go round and round until one of us kills the other, and that other will be me, 'cos I can't do it- I just can't, Mr. Todd…"
She sobbed, hiccupped, not daring to wipe her eyes and hide him from her vision. She couldn't give him that brief moment of advantage. At least with her eyes blurry, she could still see him.
He stepped forward. She stepped back. He moved to the right. She moved to the left. He laughed. She cried.
"What a deadly game we play, then, Mrs. Lovett. Who will be the winner?" He laughed mirthlessly, the sound reverberating through the horrid room, the horrid place. Oh, she just wanted to be out of there. The smell, it was forcing it's way into her nose now, making her dizzy and sick. The dim light, the fire light, all contrasted and heavy, and bright. It hurt her eyes.
Blood. The beadle's blood, the judge's blood, Lucy's blood… Blood never bothered her before.
"Why can't we both win?" She asked in a small voice like a child, backing away still.
She realized too late he was backing her into the corner of the room, with the beadle, the judge, and Lucy lying just a few feet away from them.
His palm rested on the stone beside her head and she flattened her hand holding the razor between her back and the wall. At least it would make it more difficult for him to try and take it from her.
"Both win? You and I both? And what do you suppose that would consist of?" He asked, his voice low, low, low, and silky. Too silky. Too sweet, too damn alluring.
She tried to collect herself.
"I'll do anything. I'll do anything you ask, as long as you don't kill me. Anything you want, you can have it, anything at all. I don't want anything from you, I just don't want you to kill me. I want it to go back to normal, I want-"
She was cut off by his fingers resting on her lips. She stopped crying. She stopped breathing. She stopped feeling in that moment when the tips of his fingers rested on her lips. She had no idea what to make of it, not one clue as to what could possibly be going on inside his head.
"Anything, you say? Anything so long as I don't kill you?" He asked, much too softly.
She could only guess what he was implying, but she had to say 'yes.' She had to agree to prove she meant what she said.
Slowly, Nellie nodded.
"I see…" He murmured, "So if I told you to kill for me, you would?"
"If I told you to make pies out of everyone in London, you would?"
Nellie gulped and nodded.
"If I told you to kill Toby yourself when he returns and all the police that follow him, you would?"
Nellie blinked away the tears and nodded.
"And what if I told you to never sing again? To never speak, or open your eyes, or laugh, or cry, or even breathe, Mrs. Lovett- if I asked you to do those things, would you?"
Nellie helplessly nodded.
"And if I told you to bleach your hair and wear white dresses instead of black and answer to the name 'Lucy,' you would do it?"
Horrified, Nellie stared back at him with wide eyes.
His mouth curled into a sneer, his teeth barred at her like a feral dog. What could she say? What could she possibly say? Did he really want her to do that?
…Could she do it?
"I don't think you understand my situation, Mrs. Lovett," he said in that low, dangerous, incredibly handsome despite all circumstances voice. "I just killed my wife. I killed Lucy because I thought she was a beggar woman, a person of inconsequence. And you lied to me- yes, lied- knowing what I would assume when you said she was poisoned. Because you loved me. You didn't want to 'hurt' me. Right?"
Mrs. Lovett gulped, gasping for air in the tight space between them. Why, why was he pressing into her, his fingers dropping from her lips to her throat and closing around her windpipe just enough to scare her?
"But-" she gasped, "But if I had been there, I would have stopped you. I wouldn't have let you then- I would've told you before-"
Her words were cut off by his hand, squeezing tighter.
"Would you? How can I believe that? Why should I believe it?"
His eyes were so dark. Tunnels, they were, and she was lost in them as she gasped for air. How could she answer with his hand cutting off her words?
"Please-" she rasped.
His narrowed his eyes and let go enough so she could speak. It was barely enough, but she wheezed her answer.
"I've told you, I only wanted what's best for you," she sucked in big gulps of air. "Why would I have let you kill her? I admit, I let you think she was dead, but do you believe I would have let you kill your own wife?"
Again, he hesitated, confliction plain on his face. After being so close to someone, so intimate with someone for months, they had grown to understand each other. That was a fact that could not be denied. The words she spoke were sinking into him and she could read his face as he contemplated this.
"I'm sorry for what I did, and I'm so, incredibly sorry for what's happened," she apologized, careful not to mention Lucy's name now. She had to keep him calm, keep him thinking. "If I could go back, I would, but I can't, and I will do anything you ask."
He looked up into her eyes again, lingering, considering, really hearing her words.
She swallowed, her throat crushing into his palm as she did so.
"I'm not like all those customers, Mr. Todd. I'm not like one of them blokes who pop into your shop. I'm-I'm…" She trailed off, not wanting to say something to anger him.
"Ah, but Mrs. Lovett, as I've said before, we all deserve to die," he reminded her, though his voice was soft and distant, far away, still wrapped up in his thoughts and her words.
She closed her eyes briefly, trying to shift under him. "I know, but I don't want to die now, Mr. Todd. I don't want to die…"
"What's the difference whether you die now or later?" He goaded her, pressing closer into her. His body… it…
"That's all the difference," she breathed.
He looked surprised by her answer and stepped back, his hand coming away from her throat. Though it was gone, she still felt it; his mark, lingered there as heavy as his palm.
He was frowning, looking down at the ground as he walked away from her. The distance he was putting between them was like a boulder lifting up from her body that had been crushing her and breaking her bones. As he walked away, they were healing, the air was refilling her lungs.
She wouldn't call it relief just yet.
She glanced over at Lucy for a moment, thinking back on his words. She really did feel sorry. Before, she never cared. She didn't feel bad at all about saying Lucy was dead, because to her; she was. Lucy was as good as dead as soon as she took to the streets. But to Mr. Todd… her life had meant everything. Even though she had been a beggar, a prostitute, poor and filthy, he still would have loved her.
The thoughts running through her head now… her perspective on the situation had changed. But then, escaping death could do that to a person. Flip a world upside down.
She sunk to the floor in defeat, but kept the razor in her hand.
Just in case.
He noticed and looked over at her, like she was mad for giving in.
"Mr. Todd… I really can't tell you how sorry I am… even if you don't believe me… I see now…" she trailed off, swallowing more sobs. "I see how wrong it was… how wrong I was…"
He stayed where he was, solid as a statue while she cried into her knees. How had things turned out this way? So awful, so bleak, so heart-wrenchingly sad…
She just sat there and cried. She couldn't do anything else. Her muscles throbbed from the struggle she'd been through, her heart ached for the man she loved and the horrible truth that she would now never have him because of what she had done. Her throat burned so terribly, inside and out.
What was the point now? She did deserve to die. He was right. He was so right. Oh, but she didn't want to. She was so afraid, so still full of life. She wanted to do so many things. Things she had wanted to do with Mr. Todd. Now, all crushed.
"I-I…" she tried to say more, but her throat closed and only sobs escaped.
She was consuming herself in her grief, a cocoon of her own sadness just for her. Wrapping layer after layer for protection, never to be unveiled again. Maybe she would live like Mr. Todd now. Thinking of nothing else but her grief.
The longest time had passed. She lost track of everything. She could no longer smell where she was, she was hardly aware anyone else was else was in the room with her, much less her would-be murderer and three dead bodies. Perhaps a young boy running around down in the sewers. All of it was gone.
Sob after pitiful sob racked her body despairingly until she felt like she would dehydrate. When she finally had the courage to look up, she gasped to see Mr. Todd kneeling right in front of her, staring at her with knitted brows, but an otherwise empty, emotionless face.
Despite herself, she felt blush rising to her cheeks. Really, what was the point of being embarrassed now? They were teetering on the brink of life and death between the two of them. There was nothing to be ashamed for if one, or both, of them were dead soon.
But he only continued to stare. Her face was a puzzle and he was trying to solve it. His mouth was set in a thin line to match his eyebrows and he was silent. So unyieldingly silent. Too silent. Too quiet. She had to…
"Mr.- Mr. Todd?" She rasped, her voice hoarse from crying. He needed to speak, if even to curse her, that look was taking apart her soul, and yet he continued to stare as if he knew nothing about her, not even who she was.
His hand reached out and placed it on the razor in her hand. She flinched but made no move. He wanted to kill her… well, then she deserved it, didn't she?
After what she did, her lies, her deception. For her own selfishness…
His hand curled around hers and she just knew, knew, it was the moment. As soon as she let go of the razor, she would die. It was inevitable. She deserved it.
Mr. Todd said so.
"Anything for me…" he whispered tenderly, and the irony of his words and the meaning of them versus the croon in his voice was staggering. But he finally broke the silence, and though it didn't matter what he said because at least it was something, she obeyed, understanding his unspoken command.
Nellie closed her eyes and let go of the razor, her hand falling carelessly to the floor.
She waited silently for her justice. Petrified, shaking, at his mercy, she waited. Tears leaking by some miracle again, she waited. And waited.
What was he waiting for? Why was he taking so long? She didn't know if she could take much more. She just wanted it to be over.
Was there an afterlife?
She couldn't stand it. She opened her eyes and looked at him through her wet lashes.
He held the razor in his hand loosely, still staring at her as before. The same expression, the same searching there.
She would undoubtedly be sent to the farthest, deepest pit of fiery Hell.
"You really would. You really would do anything for me, anything I ask," he stated, as if he was just now believing it. Wasn't it obvious? She was chopping up and making humans into meat pies for him, for God's sake. What more could he ask for but for her to do the killing for him?
Well, there was that.
She remained silent. What was there to say anyway? Why shouldn't her last words be 'Mr. Todd?' His name was what she had revolved her life around.
"You trust me, after all of this. This night. If you trusted me, why would you lie? What would… why?" He asked, more to himself than to her.
Surprisingly enough, she hadn't even thought of that. After he found out the truth and she struggled to survive, she was made known to the world for her ugly lie, what point was there in lying? It hadn't occurred to her to lie anymore.
Not even in the face of death. His face.
"You deserve to die, Mrs. Lovett," Mr. Todd said, finally, grabbing her hand and lifting her to her feet. She staggered back against the wall and he held the razor to her throat.
'I love you,' she thought to him silently. Oh, she wished she could say it again. Out loud, in his ear, to whisper it…
His breath was so warm on her sweating, teary face.
His hand was steady, but it seemed the rest of his body was shaking. She might have been imagining it; it wasn't as if her mind shouldn't be frenzied in this state.
"And yet," he spoke, and a tremor ran through her. "I am reluctant to do it."
Hope welled inside her. It felt so inappropriate to hope right now, as there was a blade against her throat, but she still felt it rumbling in her stomach as she heard his words.
"Why?" He asked, again, to himself. "Why should I not kill you?"
He tore away from her and paced, forward, backward, close, far. Death and life, alternating between the room. She dared not hope now. Nothing was ever certain with him.
She desperately wished to be out of the corner, but daren't move.
His razor glowed in the fire when he paced toward her, the blood of Lucy still caked onto the blade under her own blood that was more fresh. She could only stare at it. The blood. Now dried and brown, mixing with her own. The blood of the two women he had ever been close to, no matter what he said about her now.
"I should kill you. I should slit your throat for lying. I should leave you for dead and leave this place and never come back and be happy that Lucy is finally avenged," he said, not looking at her once.
She quite agreed with him. And yet…
He roared in anger and pounded his fist into the wall, not but a few inches from her head, snarling and hissing in rage. After a few moments of a heated stare into the stones, his gaze softened, became almost sorrowful, and the razor slipped from his fingers, landing on the floor with a clear, bell-like ring.
"I can't." An anguished whisper, stealing away from his throat.
She stared, wide-eyed at his admission. Sweeney Todd… unable to kill? Even to someone who deserved it more than anyone he ever knew? Certainly she deserved to die more than the judge. Turpin destroyed Mr. Todd's wife but Nellie kept him from putting her back together. And now she was bloody well offering her throat to him and he couldn't even knick it.
"I can't. You deserve it, and I can't… what's wrong with me…?" He breathed, finally looking back to her. Sorrow, yes. Confusion, despair. All written on his face.
She took a hesitant step forward. He did not move. Another step towards him. No movement. Another. And three more, and there she stood in front of him, the razor just inches from her shoe, but forgotten between them.
"I think, Mr. Todd," she said quietly, in the most soothing voice she could manage, "the question is: what is wrong with us?"
His eyes searched her face, lost. Oh, it pained her so much to see him looking so lost. She wanted nothing more than to reach out to him, but did not. To comfort him, but did not. He could flip around faster than she could blink.
"Us…" he echoed, vacantly.
Her lips twisted into a half-smile that was more demure than anything close to happy or relieved or hopeful. "Has quite a melancholy ring to it, doesn't it?"
He continued to stare.
"Mr. Todd…" Now what could she say? "We've been through such an ordeal tonight. Entirely my fault," she added for good measure. "What say you we go upstairs, have a cup of tea, or perhaps a tumbler of gin, and wait for Toby to come out of them sewers?"
He slumped against the wall, an exhausted sigh escaping his lips.
"We can discuss it more in the morning after a night's rest," she added, "As long as you wake me up before you kill me, if you decide to go that way. Hmm?"
And seemingly with the last ounce of strength he had, he nodded and swayed to the floor, but she caught him before he fell. She managed to pick up the razor and close it, tucking it back into his holster; it's rightful place. Then, with determination, she led him out of the bake house, careful to leave the door open a crack for Toby, and the pair of them trudged up the stairs slowly into the kitchen.