1

The large bake house door creaked open, just large enough to admit a person. It screeched on its closing, and the cries of the hinges was ended with the sound of footfalls.

Sweeney gave his eyes a moment to adjust to the light. The large oven at the room's center cast an eerie firelight through a small window in its giant door. The light fell on a large table, used by Mrs. Lovett for butchering. It also illuminated a pile of blood stained clothes and a large washbasin, which Mrs. Lovett was standing over.

He remained outside of the firelight, and instead watched the baker. She didn't appear to be doing anything other than staring at the clothes, as if wishing them to clean themselves.

"You know.." Sweeney's voice rumbled out of the darkness, surprising the woman despite the door's announcement of his arrival. "That tends not to get things done?"

Mrs. Lovett searched for his silhouetting the shadows, looking rather agitated. "Well love, you do it quite often. I always wondered if there was some type o' magic behind it."

Her snappy remark made him frown. "Is there a problem I should be aware of Mrs. Lovett?"

She let out a long breath and flicked back an unruly curl with her hand. "Nothin' ta really be worryin' 'bout Mr. T. Jus' a lot of work ta be done is all."

Not satisfied with her answer, Sweeney began to walk towards her, though his eyes scanned the bake house. "I see clothes." He stated, stopping in front of her. "A real problem to be worried about, Mrs. Lovett?" Sweeney looked up from the laundry to meet her eyes.

Her lips were pursed into a slight frown, and her hands were on her hips. "It is yours."

He had had no doubt that it was his, but the fact she was bringing attention to it made him wonder. An amused smile flickered onto his face. "Shall I do it then?"

Mrs. Lovett's face was passive, though her eyes seemed to be smiling. "Ya can 'elp."

They stared at each other from across the wash basin before Sweeney bent down and picked up one of his shirts. The shirt was almost completely white except for its red stained arm. "Do you wash the entire thing when it's like this?" He stared at the stain, rather than the baker.

Mrs. Lovett snorted at Sweeney's question. "'Ave ya ever done any laundry 'fore Mr. T? It ain't tha' difficult but it ain't selective." Taking up a different top, she ducked it into washbasin with a small paddle and grabbed a hard bar of soap. "Watch carefully Mr. T, or ye'll jus' be a nuisance!"

She was teasing him, and despite the fact she seemed to be taking great enjoyment out of it, Sweeney ignored the remark. "I have done laundry before." He said coolly.

"Oh?" She looked up from her scrubbing.

"I was simply trying to come up with a way to make this go.. Faster."

"I already know a way to do tha'!" She laughed.

"Do tell." He growled, dropping his own shirt into the water.

She leaned towards him, far enough over the water to make him stop unless he wanted to get her wet. Mrs. Lovett simply stared at him a moment before responding. "We could make a competition ou' of it."

"Alright." Sweeney was too busy looking at the proffered view of her bosom to fully understand what he had just agreed to.


A/N Even Sweeney can get distracted by the view.. Hehe.. Just for the record, I have really no knowledge of how they did laundry then, so I came up with a washbasin ,a wash board, a giant wooden spoon and some strange type of soap. If any of my dear readers happens to know how laundry was done, I'll gladly take the info and incorporate it. Also, this story might end up shorter than the others (chapter number wise) and if it does, I'll be unveiling my little side project to make up for that loss. Tata- don't forget to review.