Characters: Todd, Toby, mentions of Lovett, razors
Warnings: threatening a little boy with a razor, little blood
Disclaimer: I don't own it, blah blah blah. I make no profit.
Summary: "It's not nice to touch something that doesn't belong to you without asking."
He never liked treading up the stairs; he avoided it at all costs if he could. The only reason he would venture willingly to Mr. Todd's shop was if Mrs. Lovett asked him to. The barber unsettled him drastically. He had never seen the man smile; the only time he had was when Todd had told him he could have some gin. Even then, it was not much of one.
Quite frankly, Mr. Todd was a bit frightening to Toby.
The boy jogged up the stairs and peered through the glass of the door to make sure he would not interrupt if Todd had a customer. No one was in the chair, and no one was in the area that he could see.
He grasped the doorknob and entered as he called, "Mr. Todd? Mrs. Lovett needs you."
His eyes scanned the entire room. The pale man was not there. It would be a lie to say he was not relieved to be greeted by an empty shop. Such a discovery assured him that he would not have to return later; Mrs. Lovett would surely be venturing up here herself as she usually did in the evenings.
Now that the barber was absent, the space did not seem so forbidding. He took several steps forward as he surveyed the walls and the few pieces of furniture in the room. The little bit of sunlight that broke through the clouds outside trickled in through the window, brightening the chair and the area around it.
No, it was not so bad or scary to be there at that moment.
A dazzling glint near the intact mirror caught his attention. He strolled to the table that had the barber's supplies and picture frames on it to find the source. It came from the razors confined in the opened, wood container that protected them. One of them was gone, and he knew it was most likely strapped to Mr. Todd's waist; he had never seen Todd without one, whether it be in his hand or tucked away in the small pouch on his belt. Lightly, the boy ran his fingers over the objects at peace. Curiosity got the better of him, and he removed a razor from its resting place.
The detail was stunning on the silver handle, and it shined brilliantly when he held it out to catch a ray of light. He smiled and turned around to have his back to the window, shielding the instrument in his grasp from the sun. Extraordinarily carefully, he flipped up the blade, hearing a distant, vibrating ring that came from it. It was amazingly beautiful and unbelievably spotless. Not even a fingerprint graced its sleek blade or handle. They were Mr. Todd's most beloved possessions, and they showed just how much he valued and cared for them by being so flawless. He put the flat part of the knife against his palm and rubbed his thumb over it. It was so immaculate that he could clearly see his reflection in it.
"What are you doing?"
The deep voice made him jump, and the extremely sharp edge sliced his hand before he lost his grip completely, causing the object to fall to the floor. He swallowed and a sense of fear overcame him as Mr. Todd simply stood stoically in the doorway. The black hair of the barber was its usually disheveled self, yet the expression he bore on his countenance was harsher than what it normally was. His eyes were blazing with anger, and his posture was wholly agitated. When he started to walk at an incredibly slow pace toward the boy, Toby shook imperceptibly.
"'What are you doing?' I said," Sweeney repeated ominously.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Todd. I meant no harm, sir," Toby frantically answered. "I didn't mean-"
"Let me see your hand."
The boy instantly presented it. A decent amount of blood rose from the cut. Sweeney snatched the cloth hanging from his belt and shoved it against Toby's palm as he stated firmly, "Hold it there and sit down."
The lad immediately obeyed, plopping himself into the barber's chair. The temperamental man picked up the fallen razor and gazed at it affectionately. He retrieved a white cloth that lay near his wife's photo and wiped the blade on the fabric strongly.
"Sir, I thought you-"
"Sit. Don't talk," Sweeney commanded threateningly.
His dark eyes studied the glistening silver for a moment before pushing down the knife and resting it lovingly back into its slot among the others. He fetched the metal tea pot from the corner of the room, went to the chair, and knelt on one knee before the boy. The water was a little warm, but it would do.
"Hold it out," the man ordered.
Toby clutched the bloodied cloth he had in his left hand as he extended the wounded right one for Todd, who clenched the boy's slim wrist tightly. A decent amount of the clear liquid cascaded onto the laceration as Sweeney tipped the kettle. Toby gasped at the cleansing contact; he had not realized how much the slash stung until then.
The barber set the pot aside and pressed the fabric he had used to clean his razor with onto the wet skin to soak up the water.
"It's not nice to touch something that doesn't belong to you without asking," Todd said, irritated. "Especially something so valuable."
"I know. It was wrong of me," Toby voiced tremulously. "I'm sorry, sir."
"It won't happen again, will it?"
"No, sir. I promise."
Sweeney wrapped the long cloth he had initially given the boy around the hand and tied it tightly. He lifted his eyes to meet Toby's and stared at him warningly. Toby was entirely terrified. The feeling increased when Todd got to his feet and moved behind the chair. A powerful hand pushed on his chest from above to make him sit back completely. It remained there, holding him in place, as the barber leaned down to his level to gaze directly at him. He let out a tiny yelp as Sweeney put the blade of one of his razors to his throat. The man's expression was sinister, and a mischievous grin played across his lips.
"This is the only way you will ever touch one of these again," he stated gently, though there was a tinge of fury to his tone. He ran the blunt part of the blade up the lad's neck and tilted his chin upward with it. "What made you touch them in the first place?"
"I just wanted to see what was causing a glare and to see them up close. I wasn't going to take it, I promise."
Todd's left eyelid twitched as he said, "Good boy. I certainly hope you wouldn't take it."
He pulled away, returned his friend to his belt, and turned around to face the mirror. Toby dared not move until he was told. He did not have to wait long.
"Best go and check if Mrs. Lovett needs your help," the barber voiced softly. "About time to start preparing for the dinner rush, isn't it?"
"Well then, hurry up."
Toby sprang from the chair and glanced at Todd to confirm that he was indeed allowed to leave. The man's head was bowed as he fiddled with the lather brush, making the boy utterly thankful that he did not have to look into Sweeney's fiery eyes again. Quickly, he bolted out the door, not even bothering to shut it behind him.
The next time Mrs. Lovett would ask him to give Mr. Todd a message, he would form some excuse to not have to. Another idea suddenly popped into his head, one that would not require him to lie. As he entered the pie shop, his decision was made.
He would tell Mrs. Lovett everything he felt about Sweeney since coming into her care – how there was something very wrong about Mr. Todd, how he was immensely afraid to be near the barber, and that the man was surely hiding something and could not be trusted completely.
Tomorrow, he would do it; he was simply too frightened from what had just occurred in the shop to even speak at all for the remainder of the day.