Word Count: 4,500
Rating: Hard R for sexual content of a vaguely S&M fashion.
Summary: Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett, and a bottle of gin. Sweeney/Lovett, Sweeney/Lucy.
Author's Notes: Not sure what to say about this. It's a complete departure from my usual style and characterizations. Well, Mrs. Lovett not so much, but Sweeney yes. I guess I decided to answer the question that had been posed to me—what would happen if Sweeney were a tad more extroverted?
He was drunk again.
Mrs. Lovett had said they'd need to stock up on the gin once Toby had arrived on the scene. She'd expected him to drink on the job, drink when he wasn't on the job, and basically just drink, what with how he'd guzzled nearly an entire bottle in a mere twenty minutes before passing out in her sitting room. But as it turned out, Toby hardly touched the stuff once he'd been put to work—he merely had a glass or two before bed, shared with her, and sometimes not even that. He'd defied all of her expectations and was the most wonderful surrogate son she'd ever seen (not that she'd seen many). Toby was a very good boy who was proving most useful, and she was already very attached to the youngster and his bright, cheery nature.
Mr. Todd, on the other hand…
He didn't do it very often, she gave him that—she could count the times on one hand. But when he drank, he didn't just drink. He would drink, drink until he couldn't stand and would loll about in that grisly barber's chair of his, his eyes hollow, his breath reeking of the stuff, hands shaking, and then he'd fall asleep after he'd drained an entire bottle or two in that same chair, and wake up the next morning hungover, miserable, and with a sore back. And then he'd invariably take out his headache and backache on her, nastily refusing any and all offers for help, and giving her an incredibly heavy workload to take care of that night after he murdered indiscriminately. She detested it when Mr. Todd drank, because he was not a good drunk at all. He got maudlin and mean when the gin fumes slowly took hold of him.
Like he was now.
He was still able to stand, having only gone through a half bottle so far (oh, but he could hold his gin—she briefly wondered what he'd been drinking for the fifteen years down in Australia), but he was wobbling back and forth past the window, having closed up shop earlier today for an unexplained reason. His closing up had sent warning bells all through her mind, but she'd said nothing, and now wished she had—he had that look again, that hateful, mournful look that was unmistakable. She watched him pace, unsteady but still managing to keep upright, the second bottle clutched firmly in hand. She'd already closed shop and put Toby to bed, not wanting him to see Mr. Todd like this, because the boy wouldn't understand.
Come to think of it, she didn't really understand why Mr. Todd was drinking this time, either. He usually had a reason to be doing such nonsense—last time it had been because a family of three had come up, and the time before that a woman with golden curls had accompanied her young fiancée for a shave. Now, though, she wasn't sure what had caused him to crawl into the bottle. She'd kept an eye on the customers, as he'd nearly killed someone who could be traced a few days ago, and had not caught sight of a single lady or child who could've made him get depressed.
He turned a little too sharply on his next trip around, staggered, and found himself sagging against the wall near the window. She sucked in a breath a little—he'd caught sight of her.
He sat frozen for a moment, startled and confused that he'd been caught, and then he glared pointlessly at her—this was when he was at his most dangerous, she knew, that stage between passing-out drunk and wander-about-and-giggle-drunk. He was intoxicated, yes, but not nearly enough to put him off his feet.
And she didn't miss that he still had two razors in that holster of his, nor that his hand had briefly brushed them when he'd first seen her.
He brought the bottle back up to his lips and tipped back a generous portion, some of which wound up down his chin and front; he'd stink horribly of gin in the morning, and it'd be up to her to clean his clothes.
"You," he spat, still leaning against the wall for support.
"Me," she affirmed, stepping into the room and closing the door behind her with a soft snickt. "I see you've gotten into the gin again, Mister T."
"How observant of you," he sneered, his intense and embittered stare making her squirm a little. He drank again, and shifted against the wall, eyeing her distrustfully. "Go away."
Mrs. Lovett steeled herself. "I ain't—what's gotten you into the gin this time? Not another family—I watched your customers today."
Mr. Todd heaved himself away from the wall, tottering momentarily on one foot before righting himself again, taking unsteady steps towards her, that familiar, haunted look somewhat hazy because of the gin.
"Today, Mrs. Lovett, is a very special day. I had to have a drink because of it."
"A drink I could understand—a bottle not so much," she replied acidly. She hated that the only time Mr. Todd got talkative was when he was hung up on alcohol—he said the cruelest things most of the time.
He rounded on her, wiping his mouth with his sleeve. "It's my anniversary," he murmured. "My wedding anniversary." He raised the bottle high. "To three years of marriage." The words seemed to take the wind out of him, as if suddenly realizing it as he'd said it. "Three fucking years…" He looked lost and forlorn again.
Mrs. Lovett pursed her lips. He invariably got to talking about that dratted Lucy when he got drunk—she'd hoped today might be an exception, but no such luck. No wonder he'd been so irritated and withdrawn today—well, more so than usual. He'd been pining away for her all day, no doubt, hovering over that picture he had of her, petting it and stroking it and wishing his precious Lucy was still alive.
"I didn't know it was your anniversary," Mrs. Lovett said tightly.
"You didn't care," he said, voice slushy.
"Wouldn't it do better to buy flowers instead of drinking yourself into a stupor?" she said, voice brittle. Flowers she could handle—as jealous as she would be of them, they'd at least make the place look a bit brighter.
Mr. Todd drank again in response; that mean look was back. "Flowers for who? Lucy, or you?"
Her back stiffened. That would be enough of that.
"You've had enough," she said sharply, striding forward and reaching for the bottle. She didn't get the chance to grab it.
One minute, Mr. Todd was swaying on the spot, staring off into that distance that she could never quite seem to see, the next he had the front of her dress and corset and was dragging her forward, across the room, and she yelped when he pushed her violently down into the barber's chair, the gin bottled falling to the floor with a clunk and a splash.
She flopped like a landed fish for a moment, struggling to get up, but froze when she felt the tip of that deadly, vicious blade pressed on her collarbone—how on earth had he drawn that razor so fast while drunk? He breath caught, and she stared fearfully at him—he was fuzzily focusing below her neck, dragging the razorblade across her collarbone while he leaned heavily over her, hand gripping the arm of the chair tightly.
Her heart was pounding against her ribcage as he slid the flat side of the blade up and across her throat, her cheeks, and finally let it come to rest between her breasts—how often had she wished he'd at least look at what she had to offer; the irony of the situation was not lost upon her as he reached up and lightly touched the top of each breast, running the pad of his thumb across her flesh.
This was not like the other time he'd had her like this, when he'd lost the Judge. That time had been frightening as well, and she'd been afraid for her life. But he'd been sober then, and his intentions had been nothing but to scare her (she refused to acknowledge that he'd been prepared to actually go through with slitting her throat). But this…this was completely different.
What was he doing? He didn't stop touching her, fumbling with the still-open razor and clumsily groping at whatever exposed flesh he could find, from her shoulders to her throat to her cheeks to her cleavage. She wished he'd put the razor away—then she could appreciate this moment for what it was, instead of being afraid. But he wouldn't put it away, even as he leaned forward against her, face nuzzling roughly against her neck, the stink of the gin making her eyes water.
Only when he reached down and started pulling up her skirts was it finally and unmistakably clear just what he was up to—it flashed into her mind like fire, and she reached down and tried to still his hand. "Mr. Todd—you're drunk," she hissed. But part of her was screaming not to stop him, screaming to let him do whatever he wanted to her, because he may have been drunk, but he was showing interest for once, not cold indifference, and oh, after all, didn't she want this? Hadn't she been dreaming of this for years? Well, not this, but something similar—
"Yes, I'm drunk," he said against her throat, and she felt his teeth scrape her skin as he lightly bit her. He shrugged her hand away and continued to tug at her skirts.
For all her protests, she couldn't help it—she moved to push him away, but somehow, her arms, wound up around his shoulders and pulling him closer to her, and she moaned when he pushed her knees apart. She felt the leather of his fingerless gloves slide up the inside of her clothed thigh, fingers pressing against her sex, and she knew she was wet already, wet with desire for this, no matter how she was going to be getting it. She wanted him—she couldn't deny it.
And she was going to get him.
She gasped when he bit her again, more sharply this time, and then she felt his gin-redolent breath puffing in her ear.
"You don't think I know, do you?" he hissed in her ear, his hand tugging at her bloomers and knickers.
"Know…?" she managed, almost ready to reach down and help him.
"Know about how you watch me at night."
Her breath caught and her eyes shot open again.
"I do know, Mrs. Lovett." He'd gotten her bloomers and knickers down around her knees, and pulled back to look at her. "Known since the first time you did it." His gaze was not quite focused, but intense enough to make her nervous. "You touch me."
And he did know. She could tell.
"Mister T—" she began, struggling to find something, anything to say to explain herself, but she suddenly gasped in pain and pleasure and arched upwards in the chair when his hand slithered forward, fast like a striking snake, and he sank two fingers inside of her.
It hurt—she hadn't been ready, and hadn't had a man in over seventeen years. But underneath, as his fingers roughly moved within her, there was a pleasurable sensation, and something about the pain was making her even wetter than before, because as painful as it was, his fingers were within her, doing things to her, moving back and forth.
His thumb pressed above where his fingers were and rubbed, and she moaned as he began sliding his slick fingers in and out of her, and he pressed against her again, heavy in his weight. She clung desperately to his shoulders, pushing against his hand, in pain but not wanting him to stop—the pain was somehow him, all he had to offer, and she was going to take it no matter what.
"I remember," he mumbled, and she made to ask him what he remembered, but his fingers did something to her and the question was lost. And still that deep hurt was there, making her squeeze her eyes shut, making her squirm in the chair, but still, her desire was strong, and now even the pain felt good to her, because what did a little pain matter when her Sweeney had his fingers inside of her and was doing things to her that she'd only dreamed about up until now?
He dipped his head lower, his hair tickling her chin, and she reached up and wound he fingers through it, something she'd wanted to do ever since she'd first set eyes on him…it wasn't like she dreamed. His hair wasn't soft and silky, it was coarse and tangled, and once she got her fingers knotted into it, she pressed his mouth where she wanted it, to her collarbone, and he dragged his tongue across her flesh roughly, before biting his way back up to her neck where he stayed, continuing to do all those things with his fingers…
She tensed when she felt the razor against her skin again—he'd reached up with his other hand and had started groping her, the leather of his gloves the only thing between them. She hissed when the razor nicked her shoulder where her dress had been pulled down, drawing blood, and she didn't know if it was intentional or accidental, but it didn't matter, because suddenly Sweeney had moved from her throat to that spot and his tongue dragged across it, and he sucked, sucked at that spot, sure to leave a mark, and she moaned and began rocking her hips in time to the motions of his hand.
He kept at it, sinking his fingers inside of her, all the way up to the leather, and her chest rose and fell rapidly as he worked her towards that devastating flashpoint, the one she'd brought herself to countless times, thinking of him each time…
This was what she wanted…Sweeney, pleasuring her, caring about her, and soon he would be loving her, surely he would do that, maybe he did even now, because why else would he be devoting so much to her…?
He abruptly pulled out of her, and she mewled in protest, but the sound turned into a groan when he ground the palm of his heel against the top of her sex, fingers lightly stroking the damp heat of her quim. But he didn't keep at that very long, and then he'd slipped his middle finger inside of her again, the leather scraping her, and she wondered how could that hand that murdered so many do such wonders to her…?
He leaned heavily against her, his fingers driving her forward, forward, and her entire body was tensing, her movements becoming jerkier while he began moving faster, all sensations coalescing between her thighs, and oh, she was about to—!
His lips brushed her ear. "Lucy," he whispered.
Her eyes flew open, and her mouth dropped, but his fingers suddenly pressed hard inside of her and stroked something deep within her and she came, came hard, her emotions roiling inside of her as she sucked in short, whistling gasps, jerking in the chair, even as his fingers kept moving against her, in her, and her fingernails dug deep into his shoulders.
She'd never come like this—painful, pleasurable, and resentful. Horribly resentful. And when it was over, she came to a terrible realization that dissolved the whole moment like snow on a summer's day.
His fingers slipped out of her; she caught sight of them, wet and wrinkled with a little blood on them. He was staring fuzzily at her again, his eyes traveling over her features, from her eyes to her mouth to her hair. She, on the other hand, wasn't sure what to say. What he'd said to her…
He reached forward with his wet fingers and tugged one of her red curls. It bounced back into place when he let it go, and she watched as he wiped his hand on his shirt.
"Red," he said flatly. And then he abruptly moved away, staggering away from her, nearly tripping over the discarded gin bottle lying in a puddle of the liquid it had previously contained. He eyed it for a moment before falling to his knees and picking it up, shaking it, and taking a drink from what remained inside.
Mrs. Lovett suddenly realized what a mess she must look. She quickly pulled up her knickers and bloomers, shifting uncomfortably, and smoothing her skirts back down as she extricated herself from the chair. She looked down at her shoulder and saw where Mr. Todd had pulled her dress down—there was a purple bruise there, smeared with blood. She straightened her dress, looking down at Mr. Todd as he struggled to get up off the ground. He finally managed after his third try, and went to stand by the window.
"You weren't Lucy," he muttered, fiddling with the bottle.
Of all the—she could not believe the words coming out of his drunken mouth. She'd been irritated with him, impatient with him, disappointed in him—many things, but she believed this was the first time she was truly angry with him, angry with him for saying such horrible things, for sticking his hand up her twat and thinking of Lucy the entire time, and for the knowledge that he wouldn't even be appropriately ashamed in the morning and wouldn't understand her cold shoulder if she wanted to give it to him, because he never remembered what he'd done the previous night, he drank so much. She may have wanted him, and been a willing part of this, but no woman in existence enjoyed being used, and that's what he'd done—used her to remember someone else.
She strode to the door, straightening her hair furiously. She paused when her hand touched the doorknob and she turned, staring at Mr. Todd, who was looking out the window still.
"She's dead, Mr. Todd—it's time you faced that fact," she said sharply, her final volley. She caught sight of his fiery, enraged expression as he whirled around to face her, and quickly beat a hasty retreat, slamming the door behind her before she heard the gin bottle smash against the doorframe, splattering what was left all over the place.
She raced down the stairs, listening for any sign that he might be chasing her, furious and drunk and murderous. But there was no sound of him exiting his domain, and the only thing she heard once she reached the relative safety of her bedroom were footsteps of him pacing up above her.
She pressed a shaky hand to her eyes, the beginnings of a headache prickling there.
Everything was so surreal at the moment—if not for the dull ache between her thighs, she would've thought she'd dreamed the whole thing. But no, she hadn't dreamed it, and she would never dream of a time where Mr. Todd had stuck his fingers up her while imagining she was Lucy. Not to mention that in her dreams, he was never drunk.
After listening momentarily to Mr. Todd's pacing, she finally sank down onto her bed, wincing a little, and bent to unlace her shoes to prepare for bed, now that she was sure Mr. Todd wouldn't come down to punish her for her remark. On that note, it was a good thing he wouldn't remember this in the morning—after all, if he remembered her saying such a thing, he'd undoubtedly take it out on her later, ignoring her, roughly shoving her away from him when she tried to comfort him when he looked particularly glum, and occasionally driving in an imaginary knife by bringing up Lucy when she asked what he was thinking about.
She wiggled her toes once she'd extricated herself from her shoes, then slipped out of her dress, resting it over the back of a chair. She reached behind her, undoing all of the little laces of her corset, letting out a little huff as it released her from its confines. Stretching a little, she set the corset by the dress before reaching for her nightdress. Once she'd gotten it pulled over her head, she sat and began pulling the pins out of her hair, pausing when she caught sight of herself in the mirror.
She tugged on one of her curls, just as Mr. Todd had done earlier, narrowing her eyes. Red—just like he'd said. A deep, dark red that was her natural color.
Not yellow, golden curls that were soft and understated, but red ones that would corkscrew and tangle out of control if not kept under strict control.
Mrs. Lovett wrenched out a pin with a little more force than was necessary and hissed when she accidentally pulled her own hair. She examined the curly strands that had been ripped from her scalp momentarily before casting them aside and went to work on the remainder of the pins.
"There ain't no yellow no more," she muttered viciously to herself, pulling out the last of the pins with a smug little tug. And it was true—Mrs. Lovett had seen Lucy's hair now. It was brittle, dirty gray-brown, tangled and messy, not even remotely beautiful now. It was the hair of an old mad beggar woman, and by all standards, Mrs. Lovett thought the woman deserved it. Mrs. Lovett had never been jealous of Lucy's hair, but she'd been very aware of Benjamin Barker's preference for yellow curls.
Sweeney Todd had clearly inherited that preference as well.
Sighing as she rose from her chair, mussing her hair a bit, she made her way over to the bed and wriggled under the sheets and blankets. She was still aching from Mr. Todd's vigorous actions, still bitter from his words.
The footsteps had stopped—he must've collapsed onto his bed or chair to fall into a sodden slumber—she'd seen at least one more bottle in there, so who knew if he'd dipped into that one as well. Ordinarily, she'd creep up the stairs after such a binge to watch him, to listen to his light snores, to occasionally reach out and stroke a stray lock of hair from his face. But she knew she couldn't do that anymore—not with him knowing about it. How long had he been aware of her nightly forays into his room to watch him sleep, to observe him when he was peaceful for a change?
Well, him knowing just ruined everything. And she'd so loved watching him sleep—watching him just breathe…
She shifted in bed, trying to get comfortable and ignore the sting between her thighs. It was slowly fading, but the memory wasn't. She knew she was attempting to ignore it—to ignore the fact that Mr. Todd had—
She scowled. She could hear faint, wailing calls outside, just barely audible from her room, but audible all the same.
Lucy Barker, out there screaming about smoke, about fire, about devils and witches and who knew what else. She always started screaming at night, but she was usually at least dozing before Lucy started all that up, making it a little easier to ignore. But Mrs. Lovett was wide awake tonight, and knew she would be for a while, and tonight was not the night to be lulled to sleep by the screams of Lucy Barker.
Lucy Barker—she'd been Lucy Carrington before. Mrs. Lovett preferred to think of her that way; made it easier to ignore the fact that Lucy had been married to Benjamin first. And now she was just another unfortunate, who spent all her time at either haunting 186 Fleet Street or muttering to herself outside of where Judge Turpin lived. She rarely ventured into the market, merely drifting from place to place. Years ago, Lucy would often try to come back into what was her old abode, huddling against the locked door, fingering the spot her wedding ring had once resided. Once she realized she couldn't get inside what had once been her home, she would shuffle down the stairs and come into Mrs. Lovett's pie shop and beg for something to eat. But Mrs. Lovett would always drive her away, not wanting a beggar woman to make her already failing business look even worse. That, and why would she want to harbor the reason her Benjamin had been sent away?
Just why on earth Sweeney Todd insisted on pining for that woman was beyond Mrs. Lovett—if he saw her now, he'd be repulsed, be appalled. It was really for his own good that Mrs. Lovett kept Lucy away from him—he was having a hard enough time.
If only she could make him forget Lucy.
But it seemed he couldn't forget her no matter what—even when he was with another woman. A better woman.
And Mrs. Lovett knew she was better than Lucy. Lucy was a trembling little leaf of a woman, a delicate flower who couldn't take hard times at all—why, just one instance of bad times and what did she do? Tried to kill herself. She, Mrs. Lovett, on the other hand, had endured seventeen years of bad times. A dead child, a dead husband, a failing business, going without food some days—Mrs. Lovett was patently not delicate. And full of such good ideas—would Lucy have come up with using what Mr. Todd killed like that? No, Lucy would've been sick from the very concept.
Lucy hadn't had the strength to wait for her husband—Mrs. Lovett, on the other hand, had.
Lucy didn't deserve to have Sweeney Todd. Sweeney Todd wasn't even rightfully hers—she'd been married to Benjamin Barker, and Mr. Todd had declared that particular individual dead.
One of Lucy's keening wails jerked her briefly back into reality—to how Mr. Todd had whispered Lucy's name tonight.
No, she thought firmly to herself. You take what you get—as always. And maybe next time, he won't be drunk. Just need to think forward, Eleanor—this is nothing but a giant leap into the right direction.
And it was. He may have been thinking of Lucy, but it was ultimately Mrs. Lovett he'd been pleasuring, and in the end, he'd known it. He could've stopped any time he'd wanted to, but hadn't.
She snuggled deeper into her bed. Progress. It was all merely progress. And who knew if there would be a second time, or maybe a third, or a fourth—maybe they'd make it to the bed next time.
He'd eventually come 'round.
"Mrs. Eleanor Todd," she murmured, before closing her eyes and trying her best to get to sleep.