AN: Well, here we are again, huh? Chapter one of "Palettes", the epilogue to "The History of the World".��
ALERT! Spoilers and references to my previous story will be made; I highly suggest reading that story first!
Some things to note are that these are much shorter, and so, I may update several at a time. Each chapter has a color for its theme, thus the story's name.
This little chapter takes place a few months after Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney reunite.
Today, she is wearing a red dress, deep scarlet, and gazing at it as he descends the stairs, he is instantly reminded of blood.
This doesn't surprise him in the slightest, being a man who has seen the color spill out onto his clothes, onto the floor, the windows and his own barber's chair, a man who not only has seen the color frequently, but revels in the sight of it.
Today, seeing her wearing that dress, he is overcome with nostalgia.
It is morning, and she's sitting impatiently at the table in the small rundown kitchen, drumming her fingers on the wooden tabletop, gazing longingly at the kettle on the stove, as if willing it to let out its screech, an indication of the tea being hot enough to drink. Upon his entrance into the room, her eyes dart away for a brief second, her mouth curves up in a secret smile, and then, as if it never happened, she's back to gazing at the tea kettle.
Sitting down next to her, he says: "You know the saying, Mrs. Lovett...A watched pot never--"
"--boils, yes, I know, Mr. T. But this ain't a pot. That's a tea kettle."
"Nevertheless," he murmurs, leaning over the table to run a hand across her cheek, "It will not heat any faster, with you staring at it like that."
At his touch, she's suddenly melted, forgetting the tea, and grinning. The red dress makes a shifting noise, of fabric against skin, as she stands, and sits down next to him, kissing him lightly on the cheek.
"That dress," he tells her, his hand reaching down, and taking the fabric between his fingers.
"I got it from that Singer woman. Said she didn't want it."
Breathe hitting her slender neck, he whispers: "You look lovely in it."
As if she knows, knows that he's referring to his second favorite color (the first being silver), a coy smirk plays across her lips before she wraps her arms about his neck, touching her forehead to his (a small, affectionate gesture that they seem to have agreed upon), and eying him, brown eyes shimmering with amusement.
"You like the color?"
It's almost like she's provoking him, and as she runs a hand down his arm, he finds his hands on her back, gazing at all this red, surrounding her pale skin; she truly looks beautiful. Almost fitting her nickname, the one the citizens of London have given her: the Devil's wife.
It would make him the Devil himself, but this is all in the past, a life they have left behind, the kind of living they visit occasionally, on their stays in the city, but never fully return to.
"Yes," he hisses, as her lips graze against his, tantalizing.
"That is a shame," she says, pulling back, his fingers losing their hold on her back as she stands. "I had almost forgot the tea."
He is suddenly realizing the kettle is whistling, and he pouts as she walks over to pick it off the stove, pouring it into a cup that's already waiting for her. She keeps looking over her shoulder, though, as if she's finding this all very funny.
She loves to be cruel.
Coming back to the table, she's holding two cups, one in each delicate hand, and instead of reaching for the cup of tea, he reaches for her.