Rating: Hard R for rape-like sex

Author's Notes: This was a request piece by Harey. It just happened to have perfect timing--Happy Valentine's Day, Harey. I hope this is to your satisfaction.

Thnk. Shnk. Skrrrpt

Mrs. Lovett had grown to find those noises rather comforting while she was down in the bake house—the constant trickle of the sewer water and the dull, ominous rumble of her oven were sometimes eerie down in the rancid darkness. When the other sounds started up, she felt busy and useful and cheerful—she felt like the old days were back. The old days of young and vibrant Benjamin Barker with his soft, delicate hands, his warm, charming smile, and his offer of tea on Wednesdays that she'd always accepted, sometimes accompanied by her husband when he'd still been alive.

"Sweet little Benny," she tittered absently, raising the cleaver again and bringing it down hard, finally separating the dead man's arm from the rest of his body.

Mr. Todd never helped her with the meat—she'd managed to drag him down to assist her only once. He'd been extremely irritated by her insistence and demand for help, but he'd agreed and had stomped down the stairs behind her. The agreement to help had been nice enough to her, but he'd pointedly been no butcher. He'd made a right mess of the one she'd given him, even with her guidance and help. He'd gutted far too exuberantly, burying his arms up to the elbows into the dead man's ribcage and getting all manner of bile and nastiness on the meat because of it. While he could cut up the meat much faster than she could (it had both impressed and chilled her when he'd severed a man's head in one fell swoop), he tended to cut too erratically and too viciously—and he never did remove the bones. She'd finally lost her patience with him and had banished him from the bake house, burning most of what he'd been hacking at due to the fact that he'd maimed it beyond use. Proper artist with a knife he may have been, but with a bone saw and a meat cleaver…like giving a hammer to a loony, it was.

So she called on Albert's teachings by herself, remembering the way he'd taught her to cut, what not to use, the proper way to strip bones away from the meat, and the easiest way to remove all of the viscera and gut with minimal mess. She knew she was good at it—Albert had been a very good butcher in his day, and had often complimented her on her efficiency and quality.

"Bet you Lucy couldn't do that," she said with a flourish, pulling out ribs with ease, wrinkling her nose at the unpleasant crackling the process made. With a flick of her wrist, the bones sailed over to the pile of clothes and blood in the corner—it was getting a little big, so she'd have to call Mr. Todd down soon to dispose of it all. He'd come downstairs, silent and methodical, and would gather everything into one of his large cloths he used when shaving his customers, and then glide effortlessly back up the stairs, out of the shop, and into the night. She didn't know where he took the deathly load and had never asked, but it didn't really matter—the leftovers she couldn't burn disappeared and that was that.

Her stomach jumped a little when she heard the door groan open. She always felt a thrill of uneasiness when she heard the door open, because there was always a chance that it could be someone who wasn't supposed to be down in the bake house, and she would be caught—they'd both be caught.

But when she turned around, she saw it was only Mr. Todd—she straightened, wiping her hands on her apron as he backed up against the door, shutting it. His eyes were hollow and wide and never left her, and her brow furrowed a little when she noticed he was paler than usual. She heard the lock slide, and couldn't help but notice that he was staring at her more intensely than he had since he'd come back.

"'Ello, Mister T," she greeted, hoping to dispel the sudden and noticeable shroud of tension that had descended ominously upon the room. "Come to 'elp me again? I'll let you, but only if'n you promise to listen more closely to wot I tell you, 'stead of just flailin' away—meat gets ruined when you do that."

Her smile faltered when he said nothing—he merely stared at her, his stance alert and predatory. She'd seen that poise before; he'd gotten it when he'd first seen Judge Turpin coming for a shave. He'd become as taut as a bowstring, his eyes alight with a fiery excitement and yet somehow darkening into black hatred at the same time.

The fact that he had turned that marauding eye upon her was quite worrying.

"Mr. Todd?" she said hesitantly, setting down the meat cleaver beside the pile of flesh and entrails on her butcher's table. "Somethin' the matter?"

He still didn't say anything, even as he came striding across the bake house and over to her; he didn't say anything when his hands grabbed her upper arms in a painful iron grip, and he still didn't say anything when she gasped as he yanked her up against him and bit her exposed and blood-flecked throat not hard enough to leave a mark, but certainly hard enough to hurt.

"Mr. Todd!" she shrieked, and she made to try and push him away when his fingers relinquished her upper arms, but it wasn't to let her go—no, one hand descended upon her waist and the other grabbed her arse and he forcefully pulled her hips against his, driving any and all doubt away as to what he'd come down here for—and somehow, she knew he wasn't going to leave until he got it. "Mr. Todd, please—this—this ain't—" she stuttered, a ripple of fear and underlying desire making her tremble.

"Ain't what?" he suddenly growled, and she felt his fingers twist into her hair before he yanked her head back, staring down at her, his face bloody from when he'd been biting and sloppily licking at her neck. "Ain't proper, Mrs. Lovett?"

"Well, no—" she managed, wishing he'd let go, because he was hurting her, and no, this wasn't proper, him coming down here and not even saying hello—there were ways this sort of thing was done and he simply wasn't going by the rules

"So what is proper, Mrs. Lovett? All those times you came sneakin' up to my room to watch me sleep?" he snarled.

Mrs. Lovett's heart nearly stopped, which was also painful because of how fast it had been beating.

"All those times you put your hands on me, thinkin' I didn't know it? Or maybe you stickin' your hand right down my pants and grabbin' me?!" He punctuated his words with a rough shake, and for once, she had absolutely nothing to say—she simply couldn't find any words, any anything to justify or explain all those nightly forays into his room to finally let her fingers touch what'd they'd long to touch for twenty years. "Mrs. Lovett, I find it only proper to respond in kind to a…" He snorted, an awful, derisive sound that made her flush with anger and indignation. "…lady's advances."

"Propriety aside," she said in a rush, wriggling and trying to get out of his cold and painful embrace but knowing that it was useless—he was unbelievably strong, had to be, what with his business, "this ain't the place to—this is the bake house, Mr. Todd, and the things that go on down here aren't—"

"What's the matter?" He spun her around, one hand staying knotted painfully in her hair, the other pressing just enough against her throat to make breathing difficult, holding her very still as he pressed his arousal against her backside, making her shiver. She felt him breathing heavily in her ear, saw him staring straight forward with a twisted grin on his face, that same deadly smile he'd given her the day he'd shoved her in the barber's chair and pressed that lethal blade to her throat. "Don't like people watching?"

She followed his fiery gaze—there were still two bodies she hadn't gotten to yet. One was facedown in a twisted heap. The other was on his back and at an odd angle—his glassy eyes, upside down from the way his head hung limply on the other's shoulder, stared up at them both, still filled with that fear and shock that she'd seen on almost all of his customers, the slit on his throat pulled wide open in a grisly and macabre imitation of a blood-soaked mouth. She wanted to look away, but the most she could do was cut her eyes to the side because Mr. Todd would not let her move.

"They're only the dead, Mrs. Lovett—they won't talk. They'll watch, but they won't talk," he whispered in her ear.

"Mr. Todd," she hissed, "there is a time and place for everything—"

"Upstairs when I'm asleep is your place and time—now and here is mine," he interrupted, pulling her towards the butcher's table.

"There's blood everywhere, I haven't cleaned up yet—!"

"Red is a wonderful thing, Mrs. Lovett—it makes everything beautiful."

Her breath caught again—unfortunately, she didn't have time to consider his words before he'd shoved her across the butcher's table and onto her stomach. Her hands landed in viscera and blood, her stomach squelching against the gore, and she felt him roughly pulling her skirts up.

She knew she did, by all means, want this—it was no lie; she had been visiting him in the night for a while now, stroking him and imagining all manner of things they could do together, relishing it whenever he'd harden in response to her hand, loving that it happened because of her. But here, like this—it spoiled every fantasy she'd ever had. She'd never been taken like this (Albert had been woefully uninventive), and she didn't want to be taken like this. She wanted to see his face, wanted him to see her face, because that was just the way it was done for the first time, and that was the way it was done if you were in love.

She pushed backwards, trying to get off of the table so she could at least turn around, and to get out of the blood she was all but swimming in, but it was too slippery and she couldn't get any purchase. She was easily shoved back down, her fingers scrabbling uselessly at the blood, face nearly driven into the gutted remains of her meat for the pies, and she knew it would be no good—she was going to have to take what he was giving her, no matter how he wanted to give it. She wasn't even ready for him.

She had time to brace herself only a little bit before he'd thrust into her, and God, it hurt—it had been so long since she'd had a man, and he'd not worked her up in the slightest, nor had he been gentle about it. She cried out, struggling to sit up and out of the blood, but he'd already started a jerky and almost inexperienced rhythm, hardly making a sound, and she wished she could enjoy it, but everything about it was all wrong, this wasn't how it was supposed to go! It wasn't supposed to be agonizing, it wasn't supposed to be in the red-soaked carnage of her bake house, and he wasn't supposed to be so cruel about it, fingers sinking deep into the flesh of her hips, the other hand keeping her bent over the table—

It didn't last long—she hadn't expected it to. She never thought she'd be grateful for that when it came to Mr. Todd. Less than a minute and he was finished, slamming his hand down beside her when he came and splattering blood on her face. Her eyes prickled slightly from pain and a dull, vague sense that she should be more humiliated (but wasn't), and, after a single moment of catching his breath, Mr. Todd had pulled out and away, not even bothering to smooth her skirts back down.

She quickly pushed up off of the table, finally, knowing she was covered in blood and entrails. She turned in time to see him buttoning his trousers again, blood also spattered on him, and making his way towards the door, not giving her a second glance.

Indignation rapidly filled her as she jerked her skirts back down and strode to cut him off, her jaw already set. "Now see here, Mr. Todd—you don't just walk off after you do somethin' like that!" she snapped, stepping in front of him with her hands on her hips, struggling not to wince and trying to ignore the stickiness between her thighs—stickiness that she knew wasn't just Mister T. He stopped, regarding her with a weary and annoyed eye.

"I've been puttin' up with your shite for a good while now, Mister T, but this is the limit. You bend me over and shag me in the middle of a gut pile and expect me to be 'appy about it?!" she shouted as loudly as she dared, knowing that Toby was upstairs.

"Don't touch me in the dark anymore." Mr. Todd's response was flat and cold, and he abruptly shoved past her, reaching the door in two long strides before jerking it open and disappearing from the bake house as he slammed the door shut.

She didn't know how long she stood there, quivering with indignation and ignited longing, hands clenched into fists, before she finally spun around and stomped back to the butcher's table, eyeing it dubiously and accusingly. How on earth was she supposed to finish her work now? Shaking herself, she seized the cleaver again, pulling the limbs back over to her workspace (Mr. Todd had shoved most of them aside to make room for her).

She'd hurt worse in the morning—she knew that. She'd had a wedding night before, and the morning after that had been painful enough by itself—Albert hadn't done that, but he'd not been as considerate as she'd often imagined Benjamin had been with his precious bint of a wife Lucy. She hacked at the arm beneath her fingers a little more vigorously at the mere thought of Lucy—she didn't want to think about that stupid slut, out on the streets lifting her skirts at any man who passed her way, because it would remind her that Sweeney or Benjamin would never do such a thing to precious Lucy, oh no, she who could be knocked over by a stiff breeze.

Such a thing indeed—she still wasn't sure how to feel about it. Angry? Oh yes, she did—she hadn't given him proper permission to do any of that to her. All she'd ever done to him was give him friendly little squeezes, which he'd responded quite positively to, she might add. And it didn't matter if she did want him to have her, she hadn't wanted him to have her like that. That damned man was so bloody uncooperative. And no consideration for her feelings! They'd likely have a busy day tomorrow, and she'd be all sore and hurting all throughout the rush. And then he'd be killing all day, giving her even more work to do, while he would be sitting upstairs and pacing and brooding and God help him if he came downstairs and tried this again. If he wanted to have a tumble, he could bloody well wait until she got washed up and into bed, the proper way it was to be done, the proper way that she wanted it.

She paused—the proper way she wanted it…

Her indignation slowly faded, and a slow comprehension filled her—rough, vicious, almost cruel, bloody, and quick. It had been all of those things, yes, but it had happened, hadn't it? He'd—well, he hadn't made love to her. Not even her wildest fantasies could turn what had just occurred between them even remotely romantic. But it had happened.

She thoughtfully began slitting up and down the man's arm, slowly extricating the long bone there. He'd given into her advances—that was the only explanation. He'd been awake even though she'd thought him asleep, and she'd driven him into a wild, lust-filled frenzy. Well, why shouldn't she "blame" herself for his behavior? She was attractive enough—and he'd not had a woman in fifteen years. So…now that he'd had a taste…

She pulled the bone from the arm with renewed energy. He'd be back—surely he'd be back. And she'd be prepared next time, and she'd get him to the bed, and they'd do things properly, like she wanted. It might hurt again, but at least she'd be taming him—she'd coax him into relaxing, into calming down, because she was there and her bed was there, and she would help confirm that he could still love someone—Lucy wouldn't have put up with all that she, Mrs. Lovett did. Lucy obviously couldn't hold up when it came to a man forcing himself on her—she, however, Mrs. Nellie Lovett, not only could, but did.

And hopefully, that would be enough to make Mr. Todd see that she was so much better than the pathetic and wispy Lucy.

She began singing a nonsense tune under her breath, seizing the cleaver again to chop the newly deboned meat into reasonable pieces for the grinder. Yes, she hurt, she was bleeding, and she was sticky. She and her tenant probably wouldn't be able to look at each other properly in the morning.

But Sweeney Todd was practically hers now. That was something to sing about.