Disclaimer: I don't own Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett.
Mrs. Lovett didn't sleep at night. She never did.
In the past her energy was limitless: she had been a young woman who was too restless for her own good. Instead of tossing and turning for hours, she just decided to stop sleeping all night. When everyone was resting, she was awake: cleaning the house and shop, reading some books, or even baking pies. Every few hours she dozed off a bit, and because she knew she needed at least some sleep, she lay down on a couch and slept for a short while. When she opened her eyes again she would continue whatever she had been doing. Her late husband had complained about this; especially just after their wedding he wanted his wife in his bed. Just to prove how wrong that desire was, she stayed in his bed for one entire night. She had exaggerated her restlessness a little, but at least she was sure that Albert never would ask her again to stay with him at night. The fact he could have his way with her wasn't worth the fact that he couldn't sleep the rest of the night because of his restless wife.
Mrs. Lovett wasn't young anymore. Her husband was deceased years ago. The once endless energy was gone. She needed to sleep, yet she was up most of the night. No little jobs in her house or reading novels to spend her time, but work. Disgusting and demanding work. She transformed corpses into pies. Not the most usual thing to do, and certainly not the most enjoyable. But she did it, every night. Not for her own pleasure, of course not, and not for the money. For no matter how revolting the baking process was, the result was rather... nice. Her customers were very aware of the latter.
Mr. Todd, the demon barber who killed his customers because of his never ending search for vengeance, was the reason for all her efforts. When the useful parts of the bodies were gone (unfortunately, bones couldn't be served), she cleaned his shop and washed the sheets that were supposed to protect his customer's clothes against shaving cream. It was quite a pity they were white: the blood had to be removed very carefully in order not to raise any suspicion. She had often asked the barber why he bothered to use those sheets and shaving cream anyway, but he had never given an answer. It was probably one of his mysterious routines, maybe a way to have at least one connection with the old days, when his wife and daughter were still his.
Everytime when she removed the sheets from the dead bodies, they seemed to be even bloodier than the last time. When she asked him if it could be done a little more civilized, so there would be less blood, if only a little, he just shrugged. It should angry her – he just let her work without ever saying 'thank you' – but it didn't. He had every right to be so absentminded, impossible and aggressive, she told herself.
But when the weeks would turn into months, the last memories of Lucy and Johanna would fade, and then the moment she was looking forward to for so long would come: Mr. Todd would see the woman who had taken care of him all this time, the baker who risked so much by participating in his crimes. Yes, Mrs. Lovett was sure of it: one day Sweeney Todd would realize she had helped him all this time, and the reason for this. One day he would see she was in love with him, and he would love her back. They would live together, by the sea, they would marry and when the night was almost over, they would finally sleep. O yes, she was sure of it.
This was what she thought about during those horrible midnight hours in which she was confronted with death so much. She daydreamed to keep it bearable: the dead bodies weren't corpses, but silhouettes of guests at their wedding, other people on the beach, friends who came for tea.
The only part of the work she didn't loathe, was the last hour, when she cleaned Sweeney Todd's blooded clothes. She was used to the red strains on them; what she was aware of was the fact the clothes had been worn by him – only for a short while, depending on how much time there was between two killings, but he had worn them. His smell lingered on the fabric, and often she would bury her face in the clothes and inhale his scent, before she washed it and returned it to him the following morning.
It was going like this since he had killed Adolfo Pirelli. She couldn't recall how long ago that was. Most of the time it seemed like one never ending day, which only slowed down those few moments she could rest for a few hours.
She needed to sleep, but she just didn't had the time if she wanted to help Sweeney Todd. After all, the work had to be done in secret, in the middle of the night, when only few people noticed the unnatural smoke that came from her chimney and the red water that ran from the drain.
Her back was aching and every day she was even more exhausted than on the previous one, but she managed to continue by thinking it all would be over soon, and life would become much, much more enjoyable. And before that moment would come, she just needed to wait until the last memories of Lucy would fade from Sweeney Todd's mind.
Luckily she had Toby, who practically tended all the customers by himself, while she baked more pies or cleaned his shop hastily after another victim had found his end in the barber chair.
She wasn't doing well, not at all. She knew it, but she didn't care. She told herself it was normal that her back hurt so much, and that she didn't need to sleep. She hadn't need to in the past, so shy would she now? What she needed was the love from the barber. Or at least, his attention, or even his presence. She longed for him, every minute, and in those few hours she finally slept, she dreamed about her Mr. T.
The day he would shyly declare his love for her and the killings would stop, could better come soon. She needed sleep, she needed rest, and most of all, she needed him.
That day would probably be the most wonderful of her life, she mused while she neatly folded the sheets, imagining how they were her bedding after…
She yawned so wide that her jaw seemed to get dislocated. She blinked a few times and forced herself to stay awake until she had finished the work.
Yes, Sweeney Todd could better hurry. She couldn't stand living like this much longer.