A Cut Above the Rest

Disclaimer: All characters belong to the original owner. Italics are Sweeney's thoughts. The ending may stink but I'm trying to keep the characters in character. Remember, Sweeney Todd doesn't REALLY show an interest in her. But the couple's still pretty sexy…

Sweeney Todd wiped his razor thoroughly as he sent another body into the abyss of the basement. A smile crept on the man's face as he thought about Judge Turpin's similar fate. The mere thought of grabbing the older man's throat and slashing it countless times was enough. He would finally get what's coming to him. Sweeney gently put his razor into his case. I'm so close…so close…

"Alright, love?" Mrs. Lovett entered the musty shop and set some tea and biscuits on the side table. She smiled at Sweeney as he turned around slowly. "I appreciate the fresh supplies; we were running low on the meat." She motioned towards the chair. "Such a handsome boy…" She shook her head and took a seat on the stool which sat obediently in the corner.

Sweeney's face held no emotion and he glided over to the black tea, freshly made. Ignoring the heat of the cup, he raised it to his lips and took a long sip. "No one's suspected anything?"

It took Mrs. Lovett a moment to realize he was talking about the origin of the 'meat' in her, now famous, meat pies. "No, we're hiding this scheme of ours, very well." She helped herself to a biscuit as she watched Mr. Todd move over to his barber chair, cup in hand. "Toby has gone to the market to pick up a few toffees, such a nice lad." Mrs. Lovett finished her biscuit and brushed the crumbs from her dress. "Well, I best be off to the bakery."

"Mrs. Lovett?"

She froze on spot. Her hand was hovering above the doorknob. "Yes, dear?" Surely he couldn't have discovered his wife. She held her breath. Various thoughts raced through her mind until his voice replied.

"If we were discovered, you'd be killed. You do know that?" His voice was cold with no emotion. His eyes weren't even looking at her, but rather outside into the heart of London.

She let out a sigh of relief that she had been holding in, for what seemed like hours. Knowing this might the only real conversation he'd have with her today, Mrs. Lovett quickly sat down on her stool. "It has crossed my-"

"Why sit on the stool? Why not the chair?" He swayed his hand over the barber chair.

Her eyes looked up at his. She couldn't see anything, nothing that could reassure her that Mr. Todd wouldn't kill her. "This stool is very comfortable, Mr. Todd." Her voice was strangely high.

"Don't make me beg." He took another swig of his tea and placed on the side table. "It's quite difficult to speak with someone when they're ten feet away."

Mrs. Lovett chuckled nervously. Although her mind told her otherwise, she stood up and made her way across the dusty room the barber chair. Looking into his dark eyes one more time, she sat down and did her best to relax. If he wanted to kill her, he'd have done it already.

Sweeney Todd leaned against the all too famous chair with a hint of a smile on his face. "So I am to assume, that death doesn't scare you." His eyes glanced toward the picture of Lucy and Johanna but quickly forced them away.

Mrs. Lovett bit her lip in response. "I wouldn't say that…" Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed he had his hand on her shoulder. The feeling of his hand her skin, sent shivers down her spine. She was prepared to make this moment last for as long as it could. "When I offered you the room above my bakery, I devoted myself to this business. I promised I would be with you through thick and thin. You made my life more adventurous, love."

Sweeney looked down at her for a split second. "Admirable." He started to move his hand but, as a reaction, Mrs. Lovett grabbed it to keep his hand from moving her shoulder. He didn't notice, to Mrs. Lovett's relief. "Mrs. Lovett, if it weren't for you, I'd be rotting behind bars awaiting my death. I have been blinded by my fury towards Judge Turpin. But given the time, I'd like to say 'thank you'." He said rather lazily.

Mrs. Lovett's eyes were filled with such happiness and delight that she quickly had to wipe her eyes to prevent tears. For so many years, she had admired him from afar. She had hoped that one day he would realize her affection for him. How one day, they would kiss passionately and get married. They would adopt the young lad, Toby as their own and with business booming, buy a lovely cottage by the sea. "Oh Mr. Todd, you are so very welcome."

With a small 'ding', the door opened and Toby walked in. He looked very happy and she could see a small sack of toffees she guessed was only half full by the look on his face. His cheeks swelled with toffees. "Ma'am! Try them! They're amazing!" He offered one to her eagerly.

Mrs. Lovett quickly looked at Sweeney Todd and to her horror, realized he had removed his hand from her shoulder and instead was now leaning on the window. "Go on Toby, I made some fresh pies for you downstairs." She took the toffee from the small boy.

Toby looked at Sweeney Todd nervously. "Mr. Todd, would you like one?"

Sweeney Todd turned around slightly. "No thank you, lad, I've eaten already."

"Come now, I've got some gin waiting downstairs as well…" Mrs. Lovett begged. Please go downstairs, please!

Toby swung around towards the door. "Don't you keep the gin on that high shelf?"

She sighed and got up from the chair, defeated. "You're right, of course. I'll be back in a second, love." Mrs. Lovett took one more look at Mr. Todd before shutting the door behind her.

Once Mrs. Lovett was gone, Sweeney Todd strode over to the picture of Lucy and Johanna. He gazed lovingly at the two figures smiling at him in the photo. Sweeney Todd had noticed Mrs. Lovett's reaction towards him and concluded that she adored him. He wasn't stupid, Lucy had done the very same. However, Mrs. Lovett was risking her own neck for his and he respected that. She made her choice; she didn't have to help me. But the fact that she did, was the most magnificent part of her. He looked at the people of London running about, out the window. As a young couple passed by, he wondered if he could ever experience that again. You can with what Mrs. Lovett's offering…

"Sorry about that, dear." Mrs. Lovett entered the room, closing the door behind her. "That lad doesn't seem to know when he's had enough gin. It's a good thing those customers walked in or he's have followed me up." She collapsed in the barber's chair. "I had to do make at least a dozen more pies…"

"It doesn't matter." He strode over to her. "Toby's care is in at most importance. We both know he can't be with us forever."

"And why not? The lad's been though so much and he's not even thirteen! No, Toby has to stay with us. Why, he's like the son I never had…" Mrs. Lovett looked at him. "Why must he follow the fate of those who come in for a shave?"

"When do you plan on telling him? Surely he must know at some point in his life. When he's older, what do you think is going to shop him from finding out how the pies are made?" He turned his head slightly and watched a young man cross over the street presumably coming for a shave.

"Oh, Mr. Todd. What am I going to do?" She rose and hung her head, arms crossed.

Sweeney walked over slightly and with two fingers tilted her head up while another arm snaked around her left shoulder, behind her neck. "We're going to continue what we started, regardless of Toby. Toby's time will come eventually." Mrs. Lovett felt cold metal at the back of her neck and realized it was his razor. "But most of all, we are going to kill Judge Turpin." He let both his arms fall as an older gentleman opened the barber's door.

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything." The man said with a smile.

"Of course not, sir. Have you tasted one of Mrs. Lovett's meat pies? No?" He turned toward Mrs. Lovett as she opened the door to leave. "Afterwards please take this gentleman downstairs and show him the fireplace."

Mrs. Lovett gave a toothy smile. "Of course, Mr. Todd."