Rating: R for sexuality and a little violence and language

Author's Notes: Strangely enough, this was kind of inspired by Equus, specifically the scene in the barn prior to when the protagonist blinds the horses. Please tell me if you think this is too explicit for guidelines. I don't think anyone can tell what they find too explicit these days.

He knew her intentions weren't honorable the instant he saw her, her sneaking into his shop with a heavy robe on. The minute she was inside, she'd locked the door, leaning with her back against it, staring at him in a way that he'd grown to recognize by now and hated more every time he saw it.

"Go away," he growled, and he knew she wouldn't do it. She never did.

Mrs. Lovett nibbled on her lower lip a little, and then slowly moved across the room, her fingers untying her robe as she went. "Mister T, please," she whispered.

He turned away from her, his hand involuntarily going to the pouch he kept his razors in…empty. He'd put them away for once, had been admiring how lovely they all looked in a row. Clenching his hands into fists, he felt Mrs. Lovett's hands on his shoulders, felt her standing almost completely against him. Her arms wrapped around him from behind, and he could feel her breath warming his shoulder through the fabric of his shirt.

He despised this—she did this all the time, almost every night now, sneaking up and trying her best to tempt him into bed. The first time she'd done it, he'd been so startled by her hands suddenly on his arse that he'd whirled around and slapped her, and had merely stared coldly back at her hurt expression, her eyes suddenly wet with shocked tears, a tiny bit of blood at the corner of her mouth. But that had not discouraged her—a few days later, she'd been back, pawing incessantly at him, asking, pleading, begging that he let her make him warm, just once. He knew she wouldn't stop until he'd succumbed or until he killed her.

What he hated most about this was that he was no longer sure which one would come first.

When it first started, he'd sworn that he'd kill her if she kept it up. He didn't love her, didn't want her, and found her to be quite repulsive sometimes. Her hands were insistent and demanding, touching him when he didn't want to be touched, and when she managed to kiss at his throat and chin, her attempts at seduction merely disgusted him. She was clingy, and the way she refused to take no for an answer did nothing but remind him of prison and bad memories of hot breath in his ear and his face being shoved into the mud. When Mrs. Lovett did things like this, he truly hated her—hated everything about her, from the new dresses she tended to buy to her dark red hair to her light and quick breaths as she'd desperately attempt to get him to put his hands on her.

But as much as he hated her, hated what she did, he was still a man—a man who hadn't had a woman in fifteen very long, very painful years.

He knew that she knew—it had happened a couple of weeks ago, and she'd increased her attempts since he'd invariable and damnably responded in some way to her fumbling and groping. He'd not been able to help it—the way she'd breathed against his ear, the way her hands had squeezed him—he'd felt her smile, satisfied, against his throat the instant it'd happened, and he'd been so infuriated he'd grabbed her upper arms and hurled her so forcefully from him she'd stumbled and landed hard upon the floor. But she'd still smiled—he could feel that smug little smirk as he'd faced the wall, shaking with rage and a hideous, impotent longing. She'd left, but he'd known then that she would be back—she'd be back, and this would happen again, and he'd further hate himself and her for it.

Truth be told, he hadn't thought he'd ever feel anything like that again—he'd thought prison had devoured everything that had ever been pleasurable to him, from happiness to nostalgia to desire. But when he'd started killing, blood splattering his hands—slick, hot, and tantalizing—not only had a strange sort of joy awakened in him, but on busy days, he often found himself warm and breathing heavily, filled with a twisted lust for more than just blood.

And today had been a busy day. Mrs. Lovett knew it.

He wanted to push her away, or perhaps just hit her again. But her fingers were toying with his buttons, one hand pulling at his neck rag, the other sliding down his chest, his stomach, and further—her fingers tightened when she heard the involuntary and choked sigh escape him. "S'all right, Mister T…I won't tell no one…no one'd be the wiser," she whispered, managing to get his neck rag untied, her fingers tickling the flesh of his throat, her form pressed tightly against his back, the robe gone and nothing but his clothes and her nightgown between them. "It don't have to mean nothin'."

He opened his mouth to respond to that—to tell her that it would mean something, it would mean he'd defiled Lucy's memory, it would mean he'd given into her whorish desire, it would mean he'd given into her, it would mean she'd come back to do it again—but suddenly she did something with her hand, so nothing came out but an exceptionally pathetic guh. She didn't wait for him to turn around—she slowly moved to face him, her hands never leaving him. He didn't want to look at her, because it wouldn't help the situation, but turning away didn't help because he merely caught sight of his dilapidated bed and couldn't stop himself from thinking of how he'd used to have a larger and much nicer one, and how he'd made love to Lucy in it, and—worst of all—he suddenly thought of just throwing Mrs. Lovett down on the one he had now and having her, tearing at her clothes, viciously complying to what she wanted and hurting her, hitting her, all while prying her legs apart—

"We don' 'ave to talk or nothin'—and I'll leave when it's done, I promise. But it's so cold, Mister T—you're so cold. Don' you wanna be warm again?" she murmured.

Mrs. Lovett's lips were pressed against his throat again, and he could feel her trembling. It was nothing to match his shaking. He squeezed his eyes shut when he felt her breasts pressing against his chest, free of a corset and being hidden by nothing but her nightgown. He kept his hands firmly at his sides, fingernails cutting into his palms, trying to will himself to just grab her and throw her from him, to tell her to get out—but his throat was locked up, and he was unable to speak as her hot breath blew in little puffs across his skin. Her nose bumped his chin as she stood on tiptoe, and he felt himself tilt his head upwards a bit to allow her room—and God, how he hated himself for doing that, because it did nothing to discourage her. Far from it—she was pressing her hips against his, her fingers twisting into his hair and trying to turn his face to hers. He resisted her, still refusing to look at her.

He drew in a shuddering gasp, finally willing his hands to move, and he reached for her, intent on grabbing her arms, her shoulders—something to get so he could throw her away from him and resolve this obscene lust the way he had been for the past two weeks. Only one hand landed on her shoulder—he wasn't sure how it happened, but the other came in contact with the exposed flesh of her chest, and he couldn't do much but watch as his hand moved of its own accord down and gripped one of her clothed breasts, and he knew it wouldn't do any good anymore.

He didn't want her. He didn't love her. But she was there, she was willing, and oh…he wanted to.

She would have to do. He'd hate himself in the morning, and he'd hate her even more, but the morning wasn't here. This was now.

So he finally looked at her, knotting his fingers in her hair, and gave her the only kiss he intended to give her tonight—it was hard, and she yelped against his mouth, and he tasted blood; he wasn't sure whose it was, and it did nothing to cool the sudden, twisted desire that flared to life in him. He backed her up against the wall, slamming her hard against it, pressing forcefully against her. Now both hands were on her breasts, groping hard, and she was gasping in pain but doing nothing to stop him—not that he would've stopped if she'd tried. The nightgown was one of her older ones, ragged with a few tears here and there. He pulled hard at it, hearing a loud rip as he did, and that accomplished his goal—he hadn't seen a woman's breasts in so long, and he groped her brutally and fiercely, loathing for everyone involved in this filthy act bubbling up inside of him because he couldn't remember what Lucy's looked or felt like.

He shuddered in revulsion when she moaned as he reached down and tugged the hem of the gown up, getting his hand underneath. She offered no resistance, and he wasn't surprised to find that she was only wearing the ragged nightgown—no knickers obstructed his seeking fingers, and he roughly stroked that hot wetness he'd not felt in over fifteen years. He hadn't meant to stay as long as he did—hadn't even meant to slide two fingers inside of her, making her grip his shoulder tightly, fingernails digging into his flesh, and he couldn't tell if it was from pain or pleasure and didn't care either way—but he found himself thinking of blood as he did it, the way it was also hot and slick against his hands. He thought of the men that died by his hand today—his hand, covered in blood less than two hours ago, now up a woman's skirt.

He was so hard it hurt.

He slipped his fingers out of her, grabbing her upper arms and pulling her forcefully across the short distance to his bed. He threw her on it, and she went very easily. Her hands were reaching for him now, and he finally noticed that she'd somehow managed to get his vest open. He wrenched it off and let it fall unheeded to the floor, throwing his necktie with it. Two quick motions and he'd unsnapped his suspenders, and then all but fell on Mrs. Lovett, fingers digging into her hips, sure to leave livid, angry bruises.

She was trying to get his shirt open, but that he would not stand for—not with what he hid under there…he didn't want her hands on the hideously torn and scarred flesh that was his back, didn't want her to see the bite marks on his upper arms and shoulders, because those were his secrets, his memories, and she had no right to them. He didn't want her sympathy, didn't want her to tell him how she understood and could look past such hideous marks. So he grabbed her hands and pushed them lower, despising that he didn't just tear them away from him instead. Her eyes were alight with anticipation and excitement, fingers scrabbling at his trousers, managing to get them open after a great deal of struggling (as he wasn't making it any easier). He leaned back, reaching down and pulling her legs apart, hiking her gown up around her waist, and he saw finger-shaped bruises already forming on her sides and hips from where he'd grabbed her. They didn't matter.

He easily forced himself between her thighs, caught sight of her face, her mouth open, chest rising and falling rapidly as she panted and pulled him to her, and he looked away, looking for something to focus on besides her—Just do it, he thought furiously, just get inside of her and fuck her and be done with it. So he pushed forward and into her, making her gasp in pain.

He knew it wouldn't take long—he barely managed to contain his groan, already close, any kind of stamina long gone. Mrs. Lovett pushed up and back against him, trying to pull him to her and get her arms around him, but he didn't want her to hold him. He quickly settled into a jerky, uncoordinated rhythm, pushing fiercely towards that flashpoint, but so much was working against him…

He thought about Lucy, and how they'd never been rough, never been like this. He thought about the daisies he used to bring Lucy when he'd been courting her. He thought about his wedding ring—long since lost, confiscated and sold when he'd been arrested. He thought about the men of prison, the ones who were desperate and brutal, the ones who'd targeted him because he'd been innocent and weak. He thought about all of those things, even as he bit Mrs. Lovett hard, slapped her when she tried to kiss him, even as he fucked her, so close, so close, just a few more and it would be done—

And then he saw them.

There, on his work space, was the mahogany and leather box. It was open, and there they were—all seven of them, lined up perfectly and in order. The moonlight shining through the window made them glisten, giving them little white pinpricks like eyes.

They were watching him.

He turned away from them, squeezing his eyes shut, but he could feel them—they were staring at him, cold and impassive, observing his actions from beside the photographs of Lucy and Johanna…

"No…" His voice was a choked whisper.

"Yes," Mrs. Lovett replied, a vulgar hiss, and he could still feel them looking at him, their gazes so icy, those seven sentinels casting terrible judgment upon him, standing by Lucy's side, and heaven help him, she was watching him, too


He nearly screamed it, and he suddenly didn't want it to happen—with monumental effort, he pulled out of the squirming woman beneath him, and let out a strangled snarl when he came, not meaning to and the feeling was a terrible, wretched euphoria and twisted relief that made him feel sick. He couldn't stop shaking, struggling to get away from her, to get her knees off of his hips, finally reeling backwards and falling onto the floor with a loud thump. His gorge rose, and he managed to get to his hands and knees before his stomach twisted violently and he vomited noisily onto the floor, coughing up what little his stomach held.

"Mr. Todd!" Mrs. Lovett's voice was alarmed and breathy, and he heard the bed creaking as she struggled to make her way over to him. He fumbled with his trousers, yanking them back up and trying to get them closed. He finally staggered to his feet, falling against the wall a couple of times, and caught sight of Mrs. Lovett. Her gown was in a bundle around her middle, skinny and pale legs exposed, still flushed and bruised from their activities. She looked worried, disappointed, and he could see that selfish little pout she often acquired when begging him to do something he didn't want.

Rage filled him. In two strides, he'd moved from the wall and over to her. He seized her upper arm in a vice-like grip and yanked her out of his bed. She let out a high-pitched yelp as he dragged her over to her discarded robe, snatching it up and hurling it at her before throwing her in the general direction of the door.

"Get out," he snarled, stalking over to where the razors sat, those little moonlight eyes still gazing coolly at him.

"But—Mister T—"

The razor was in his hand and open when he whirled around, staring her down as she pulled the robe back on. She froze, fearful.

"If you ever come back in here like this again, I will kill you. I can promise you that. Now get out." He took two steps towards her, watching as she stumbled backwards, eyes wide. "Get out!" he roared, and she was suddenly gone, wrenching the door open and slamming it shut behind her. Her quick steps faded down the staircase, and he was left by himself, save for the razors.

Exhaustion and weakness abruptly overtook him, and he tottered backwards until his back sagged against the wall again, shakily pressing his sleeve against his mouth. His breathing was still heavy and uneven, and in his hand, he felt the cool heft of the silver razor—still cool. It hadn't warmed at all.

Raising it up to eye level, he let his eyes wander over the gleaming blade, the images wrought on the handle…it wasn't shining as brightly as it often did. He felt sick again, and slowly closed the blade, setting it back beside its brothers and sisters. He slowly looked over to the picture of Lucy again, and she merely gave him that sweet, kind smile he always loved. The razors, however, did not smile—and he knew why.

"I'm sorry," he whispered hoarsely, almost unconsciously falling to his knees before them. "It won't happen again—I'm sorry."


"It was…it was weakness."

They shimmered dully back.

"If it happens again…the slightest bit…even if she says she loves me or some such rot…" He licked his dry and cracked lips. "…I'll do it. I'll let you kill her." A desperate smile twisted across his features. "And tomorrow, you will have retribution—you will slaughter like you did today, I promise, I swear by it." He hesitantly reached forward and stroked his finger along one of the curving handles. "Please forgive me."

The cool metal did not yield, but when he tilted his head, they suddenly shone a bit brighter, catching the moonlight more than they had been.

Reaching forward with a slightly shaking hand, he carefully lifted one from the box, and, clutching it to his chest, made his way back to bed, pausing only to tear the sheets from the bed and throw them on the floor. It would be cold, but he was not about to sleep on them, not with what stained them now—and besides, he was paying for his sins.

Curling up on the old, creaking mattress, he clutched the razor to his chest, whispering apology after apology to it, until his eyes finally drifted shut and he slowly fell into a fitful, uneasy sleep.