It's the last chapter. Bring out the champagne! I love you… all you little people, and I'm sorry it took nearly three weeks to upload this. I have my reasons - holiday, uninspired, blah.
I'm putting all the details and pernickety stuff at the beginning so I don't ruin the end of the chapter with my random thoughts. Ah, life… Hey, the person who spots the "Skylines and Turnstiles" reference in this chapter gets the last of the arsenic cookies!
Song: I Never Told You What I Do for a Living
Reviews: To the end!
Disclaimer: Don't own Sweeney, but I finally got my mitts on the two-disc DVD! As I told Toph94, I regularly hug it and tell it it's mine.
2nd Disclaimer: If I owned MCR, would I be thinking up ways to adultnap them?
As Sweeney held the double-pictured photograph frame in his hands, he looked miserably at the streaks of blood from his fingers that marred the photograph. He'd ruined it. He should have left it alone.
Stay out of the light, or the photograph that I gave you.
He placed it back on the table, a familiar feeling of misery rising to the surface. He'd been grieving for Lucy for almost as long as Johanna had been alive, but he'd always had hope that he'd come back to London and find her again. Now he knew he never could, never ever.
God didn't exist, despite what everyone said. If he did Turpin and the scum of the earth wouldn't be alive, and his darling would be.
You can say a prayer if you need to, or just get in line and I'll grieve you.
It wouldn't be long now. Turpin had evaded him before, but his idea was fully-formed and he knew this time it would work. The Judge would die. He wasn't going to make that mistake again. He'd make sure that idiot Anthony wouldn't burst in at the worst moment; Turpin would die alone.
Can I meet you alone? Another night and I'll see you.
"It won't be long, my love," he murmured to the photo. "I'll kill our murderer."
Another night and I'll be you.
He thanked – well, he would have thanked God if he'd believed – whatever was up there that Turpin hadn't recognised him. He kept his head down so that no one would see his features too clearly. Although it was unlikely that someone would see Benjamin Barker in his haggard face, but he didn't want to take the chance.
Some other way to continue. To hide my face.
Sweeney held his razor high, silhouetted against the bloody sky, before slashing it across his victim's throat. He'd sank it in more than usual, and the blood arced in a spray of red, splattering him. He shrugged and stepped on the lever.
Rather than cleaning himself up, he wiped the bloody razor on his shirt. The blood looked beautiful on the cold silver, but Sweeney wanted it clean.
Another knife in my hands.
A glimmer flashed in the corner of his eye – the broken mirror. He thoughtfully went over and examined his reflection.
He looked like a demon out of hell. His sunken, haunted eyes looked huge in his ashen face, his black hair hung in wild snarls around it, and to add to this unsavoury image bright blood was stained all over him. Sweeney put a hand to his blood-stained face, which felt… dirty. The sight of blood hadn't bothered him before, but now it disgusted him.
A stain that never comes off the sheets. Clean me off.
He didn't know how he'd ever get it off. Oh, he knew Mrs Lovett methodically washed all his filthy clothing, but the blood still stayed. Somehow.
I'm so dirty, babe. The kind of dirty where the water never cleans off the clothes.
How many people had toppled down the chute to Lovett's hellish bakehouse? He didn't really remember. After a while he'd stopped counting, either how many or who they were. They'd all ended up pie filling anyway.
I keep a book of the names and those only go so far 'til you bury them.
How the mighty had fallen – from the perfect lives to being eaten with ale. How he and Mrs Lovett had fallen.
So deep and down we go.
A thought suddenly flashed into his mind as he stood there in front of the cracked glass, bloodstained and silent. If Lucy had been alive, would she have wanted him? He'd changed, and he knew any chance of redemption had passed several bodies ago.
Touched by angels, though I fall out of grace.
He couldn't erase the men he'd killed, or deny the feeling of exhilaration he got when he took another life. She'd have hated that.
I did it all so maybe I'd live this every day.
He sharply came to his senses. If he was to get through to the end, he couldn't stand around covered in blood. Sweeney quickly flipped the sign hanging inside the door to 'Closed', and went to clean himself and change clothes.
He ran his thumb possessively along the blade of his razor as he prepared another man for a shave. They were all he had now.
Another knife in my hands.
He decided to let this one go. The man had been chatting to him about his family, making the old ache spring up in Sweeney's heart – if he still had one that was left – and he still felt deeply, even with no sign of blood on him, unclean. Everything in the building was stained with blood.
A stain that never comes off the sheets.
The satisfied man walked out of Sweeney's shop, and he heard the man's wife's melodic voice. She sounded as happy as Lucy had.
No one in London would be happy if they knew what was really happening in 186 Fleet Street, and that the skilled barber had the heart of a killer.
Clean me off. I'm so dirty, babe.
During a long lull, Sweeney tried to remember what he'd wanted at the beginning of his affair with revenge.
Avenge Lucy – soon, very soon.
Avenge himself – partly done, but the best was yet to walk in.
Kill the filth and scum that dared to walk this earth – yes, he'd done that rather well.
But there was another reason he'd started killing people. Simply, it made him feel alive.
It ain't the money and it sure as hell ain't just for the fame. It's for the bodies I claim and lose.
"BENJAMIN BARKER!" Sweeney screamed as he finally, finally stabbed the man who had wrecked his life. The blood spurted everywhere, more than it ever had, spraying over Sweeney's face and torso, and still he kept stabbing, unable to stop.
As he stepped away, unable to believe that the deed was actually done, the Judge's disbelieving face stared at him. He wasn't dead, so again Sweeney's razor found his mark, and the bright liquid splattered across the shop, even staining the windows.
He stepped on the pedal mechanically. Turpin slid down to the bakehouse. It was over.
Only go so far 'til you bury them.
His razors would only have to taste the blood of one more person, before they'd stay silver for ever.
"Rest now my friends. Rest now for ever. Sleep now the untroubled sleep of the angels…"
He knelt there, all purpose gone. He felt hollow inside, like all his feeling and anger had evaporated now Turpin was dead.
Only when he heard a creak from the chest in the corner did he move.
So deep and down we go.
The burning light from the large industrial oven cast its glow on the dead beggar woman. The beggar woman whom now he looked properly looked distinctly familiar…
It was… no, it couldn't be. It was Lucy Barker, not dead of poisoning at all but fallen down to the status of a beggar and raving mad besides.
My love, you're here. You were in front of me all along but now you're dead. I killed you!
And she had known. What were the last words she said to him?
"'Don't I know you,' she said," he whispered. Why, why had he been so blind?
Down… and down we go…
He looked up at Mrs Lovett, who looked on the verge of tears. "She poison's 'erself." He'd heard those words from her the day he arrived in London. But Nellie had been with Lucy all along, she'd known Lucy lived. How could she do this to him?
"You knew she lived," he continued. She babbled out her excuses, but all he could hear was his own voice, bemoaning his wife's death.
"What have I done?"
And down we go… And down we go… And we all fall down!
There was only one thing he could do: kill Mrs Lovett for lying to him and making him sell his soul when his darling was still there.
I tried, I tried.
"Mrs Lovett, you're a bloody wonder," he snarled, walking towards her. "Eminently practical and yet appropriate as always. As you've said repeatedly there's little point in dwelling on the past…" The lies spilled easily out of Sweeney's mouth as he ensnared his foolish partner into believing him. He started dancing with her, spinning around the bakehouse. It would be their last dance.
And we'll all dance alone, to the tune of your death.
As they approached the roaring oven, he had a momentary flash of doubt. But what else was there to be done? He'd promised himself to avenge Lucy's death, so Nellie had to go. Besides, she'd hurt him more than he'd thought possible. Little liar.
I'll see you in hell, he projected towards her, as he threw her into her own oven.
We'll love again, we'll laugh again, and it's better off this way.
Sweeney ignored her screams. He watched her flailing body for a few seconds, then resolutely closed the heavy door and watched through the peephole as she died.
And never again, and never again. They gave us two shots to the back of the head.
He knelt on the cold stone floor, hugging his wife to him and bent over her body. The guilt was overwhelming, but he wasn't as miserable about her death as when he'd heard what he believed to be the truth from Nellie Lovett. He'd mourned her as dead for months, and now he'd killed her, but the grieving had already been done.
And we're all dead now.
It was quiet, so he heard the cover lift off the sewer entrance, and heard the boy climb out. Toby's footsteps drew near as Sweeney sang brokenly. He wanted to die.
The slight ching as Toby picked up the razor didn't go unnoticed. Calm at last, Sweeney tilted his head back slightly to allow the boy to cut his throat.
The death slice came. His faithful friend bit into his throat, the blood running down his neck and dying it plain red.
Well never again, and never again. They gave us two shots to the back of the head and we're all dead now.
Sweeney was aware of a searing pain as his head fell forward, his blood dripping on Lucy's dirty face. If she had come any other night, he might have let her live long enough for him to realise who he really was.
Why why why?
Well I tried. One more night, one more night.
Sweeney was dying, and not terribly slowly either, but it only came as relief, and as he had been planning on killing himself anyway he didn't mind. He was glad it was over.
Well I'm laughin' out, cryin' out, laughin' out loud.
He'd failed in so many things – killing the Judge the first time, seeing his daughter, saving Lucy… but he'd done all he could.
I tried. I tried. I tried, well.
An afterlife – whatever it was – was less than a minute, if that, away.
And we'll laugh again, we'll love again.
He hoped Nellie had liked her final waltz, despite everything…
We'll cry again, and we'll dance again.
There was nothing left to do. There wouldn't have been any other way than to die and hope his work had not been in vain.
And it's better off this way, so much better off this way.
Sweeney was a murderer, and he was dying a murderer. The blood followed him to the grave, and he'd never, ever clean it off.
I can't clean the blood off the sheets in my bed!
Lucy, forgive me. I didn't mean to kill you—
And never again,
—everything she told me was a lie—
And never again,
—we all have to fall, I fell deeper than most—
They gave us two shots to the back of the head
—I'm sorry for everything—
—I love you to the end—
—I wish it didn't have to be this way—
—don't hate me too much—