A.N. Okaay...I took a helluva lot longer than I said. But I've been failing math and my grades had dropped due to a very bad relationship with a shitty man...if you can call him...it... a man. No questions. So I suffered from despondency and not wanting to write for awhile. Then I finally began writing again, but I could only write in snippets and stuff relating to the incident I went through. I admit, I did write a pretty good, but irregular poem/song called "The Sociopath" and I've picked up some of my original fictions and wrote on them. I just couldn't bring myself to write Sweeney Todd fanfiction because Sweeney reminded me of that guy that nearly ruined my life. Psychopaths and sociopaths are practically the same thing so...yeah. Just the way Sweeney sometimes...used...Mrs. Lovett and ignored her when she cared the world for him just reminded me of...well...I REALLY need to shut up now. On another note, this was also late due to exams and studying...and laziness…so please bear with me. And I hope my later work will be much better than this. I'm not particularly happy with this piece, but I was a tad uninspired, I guess. This took so long to write since I've been only able to write a bit at a time...I'm trying to get my footing back. Damn sociopath took my shoes. XD.
Also, this story is the kind of sequel to my story "Dreams Split at the Seams". You don't have to read that one, I guess...but it might help Yeah...sooo, without further ado...here we go.
Sweeney Todd's eyes, blacker than the feathers of a crow, glittered with intense fascination as he watched her every move. Up. Down. Up. Down. Up. Down. Up...
"Mr. Todd? Are you list'nin' to me?"
The barber tore his eyes away from his focal point to make partial eye-contact with her. Now, Sweeney was not, by any means, a man who regularly partook in the act of direct eye-contact. Instead he would fix his gaze on one's cheekbones. Fortunately for him, this never failed to give off the impression that he was making eye-contact when in reality, he was not.
"Aren't I always, Mrs. Lovett?" Sweeney mumbled, wearing his usual blank, but somehow enigmatic expression. He was trying not to let on that he was practically yearning for the baker to proceed with her actions so he could carry on with his clandestine observations.
"No." Mrs. Lovett huffed in indignation. "You don't. Cos about nine times outta ten you 'ave that cloudy, distant look in yer eyes when I'm talkin' to ya."
"Listening requires the ears, pet...if I'm not gravely mistaken." was the barber's calm riposte. "The eyes have nothing to do with whether one is listening or not."
"Wot wos I sayin', then?" Mrs. Lovett's eyebrow arched, almost reaching her curly hairline, as she tested him.
"You...said..." Sweeney tried not to appear discomfited in any way. "...for me to watch you first."
Mrs. Lovett frowned, putting her project to the side...a piece of fabric with a neat line of simple, black stitches running across it. A petite sewing needle hung loosely by a black thread at the last stitch. "Mr. T...you said las' week thatcha wonted to learn 'ow to sew..."
"And I'm giving you my full, undivided attention, Mrs. Lovett," Sweeney grunted with annoyance, gripping at the worn, velvet arms of the wing chair, wishing fervently that he were gripping his razors instead. "What else do you want?"
"I wont ya to listen to me." Mrs. Lovett's lips somehow molded into a pout. "I wos tellin' you about wot Miss Winchester did this mornin' in church an' it's obvious that you weren't list'nin'."
"Does Miss...So-and-so...have anything to do with sewing?" Sweeney was clutching the couch with so much vigor that the fingernail on his right index finger pierced the fabric with a muffled pop. He was more than frustrated with her impudence. He wanted her to keep sewing. He...dare he say it...almost needed her to keep sewing. The rising and falling motions of her hand were...enchanting, and somewhat relaxing to him. He'd rather die at the hands of a rabid chipmunk than admit it, though.
"No." Mrs. Lovett heaved a defeated sigh that sounded faintly like an ocean wave crashing to the shore. "I suppose not."
"Shall we proceed?" the barber growled, not even bothering to look at the woman on the couch across from him. Instead he studied the dark material of his fingerless gloves, maintaining a relatively blasé persona.
"Alright then," the baker picked up the cloth and proceeded to carry on with her task. As soon as she started up again, Sweeney's eyes darted eagerly away from his gloves. Watching her. Studying her. He soon became captivated by the way her elegant, sylphlike fingers adroitly pushed the needle up and down through the cream colored fabric. It almost as if her phalanges were performing some mysterious, almost erotic dance...solely for him. And she made it look so effortless as well! It appeared to come to her like breathing. Lackadaisical pliés and rélevés with her fingers were like her easy inhales and exhales. As if her fingers had been taking ballet lessons while she was inside the womb. Entrancing. It was positively entrancing. Though he was rather loathe to acknowledge it.
He tried to tell himself that she was nothing special and that any self-respecting woman in London could sew with clear, efficient dexterity. Yet, even with that, impish thoughts managed to crawl into his head like weevils entering through the cracks in a sugar cabinet. He was a man, after all, no matter how androgynous he tried to appear.
The thoughts that invaded the barber's mind were filthy ones. The filthiest he'd ever conjured up. He should've been repulsed by them. They should've made his stomach churn with disgust. They should've brought out guilt in his heart for thinking such things about a woman aside from his Lucy. He should've felt all these things.
But he didn't.
No. In his opinion, there was nothing wrong with imagining all the things he could make those fingers do...as long as he kept everything in his mind. You see, Sweeney believed the contents of his mind were highly acidic and if anything unwelcome intruded, it would disintegrate soon enough. The thoughts of her thumbs fervently sashaying down his lower regions were just fleeting thoughts...weren't they? Nothing to worry about at all...
"Mr. T? Why is yer mouth 'angin' open like an 'ungry baby bird?"
Wait...his mouth was open?! Oh shit.
Sweeney, acting on an impulse, cupped a hand over his gaping mouth and feigned a cough,
"Pardon me, Mrs. Lovett," he cleared his throat, putting his hand in his lap. "I believe I might have a...slight cough."
Mrs. Lovett tilted her head in a bemused fashion, unconvinced. "I 'aven't 'eard ya coughin'."
"I have been coughing, I assure you." Sweeney's eyebrows joined together in pissed-off matrimony. "Do you doubt my word, Mrs. Lovett?" He gave her a seething glare that said if she did, she would genuinely regret it.
"No, I don't doubt ya." She looked away from the demonic barber, admittedly frightened by his glare. "Almost finished wit' this..." the baker's forehead crinkled as she tied the knot at the end of her row. She untied the delicate needle and stuck it in the strawberry-shaped pincushion sitting on her lap. As the needle punctured the pincushion, a little fleck of sawdust crept out. She really needed to make herself a new pincushion before that one burst. Sawdust wasn't the easiest thing to get out of a carpet.
"What're you 'sposed to do about the string dangling off at the end?" Sweeney inquired with what he hoped to be a rather dry manner.
"Snip it off." Mrs. Lovett replied with a small smile, pleasantly surprised that he was finally showing a little interest...or at least pretending he was interested. "Or you could jos do this..." Mrs. Lovett lifted up the cloth to her teeth and proficiently bit off the excess thread with a flourish.
Needless to say, Sweeney's body began to compulsively squirm in a rather embarrassing way by her actions. Damn woman. He thought to himself. She's bloody doing this on purpose.
"'Ere." Mrs. Lovett stood, smoothing her skirts, and placed the perilous undertaking on his knees. "It's your turn to try now. Go a'ead, love," she placed the spool of thread in his left hand, enclosing his fingers around it. She allowed her own hand to linger there for exactly two seconds before drawing away and taking his right wrist. "You'll need to thread that needle..." she positioned the needle with the point facing downwards, between the barber's thumb and index finger. "Go on. You know 'ow to do it."
Actually, it was quite the contrary. He did not know how to do it. But, hell, he wouldn't let her know that. So the barber fumbled with the spool of thread, careful not to drop the needle. Yet, once he got a hold on the end of the string, the fat little cylinder plopped to the floor and began to roll away from him, giving Sweeney much more thread than he needed. He muttered a curse when Mrs. Lovett giggled and stopped the rebellious spool with her foot.
"Need a bit of 'elp?" Mrs. Lovett questioned "innocently".
"No. I don't." Sweeney hissed between clenched teeth as he tried to poke the thread through the eye of the needle. Damn that needle. Why did "needle makers" insist upon making the holes so bloody small? It made no sense to the barber, especially since his frustration was escalating by the second. It just refused to go in!
Finally, when it looked like a vein was about to burst in his head, Mrs. Lovett interceded,
"Put it in yer mouth, remember? That makes the thread go stiff an' it's easier to push it through."
"I knew that, woman." Sweeney irritably put tip of the string in his mouth, wetting it. "I was just...softening it." The thread went easily through the hole and Sweeney pulled it up, tying it at the top.
"Wotever ya say, dearie." Mrs. Lovett shook her head. "Now start yer stitches."
And start he did. As soon as he much too enthusiastically jammed the needle through the cloth on his lap (which he unwittingly decided to not lift up) he let out a cry of pain. Needless to say, he had jabbed it into his thigh.
"DAMN NEEDLE!" a long stream of curses flooded from the barber's mouth as he yanked the needle out. Warm blood seeped through the white cloth, leaving a little cloud of red stained into the fabric.
"Oh, Mr. T!" Mrs. Lovett rushed over to him, taking up his bloodstained project and setting it on the armrest. "I told ya to push the needle across, not straight down, you silly man...why didn't ya listen to m-...?"
"As if anyone would ever want to listen to you, woman!" Sweeney cut her off angrily, voice laced with venom.
There was a shocked silence as Mrs. Lovett stepped back, brown eyes wide with disbelief and hurt. "Y-You...w-w-weren't...list'nin'?" her voice was barely above a whisper.
"Of course not!" Sweeney snapped. "Your voice is like a bloody fly buzzing incessantly in my ear and to preserve my sanity I can do nothing better than to block you out!"
His words pierced her like a knife. Now, it wasn't like she wasn't used to it. No. Every day…every hour…Sweeney Todd would maliciously carve into her heart with his gleaming razors, making her bleed, giving her scars that never fully healed. However, that one stab finally proved to be too much, like salt in an infected bullet wound.
"Well..." the woman took in a deep breath and looked away, trying not to let him see how she really felt. "I'm sorry, Mr. T." she picked up her skirts and turned to leave. "I won't bother ya any longer."
"Yes…you will." Sweeney hissed. Perhaps his brain wasn't so acidic after all. "You always do." Without warning, an electrifying impulse shuddered through his body and he bolted up, seizing the baker's arm, digging his nails into her delicate skin.
"Ow!" she cried out. "Stop it, Mr. T! It 'urts! It—"Mrs. Lovett silenced herself out of pure trepidation when he yanked her even closer to his thin body. However, she did not quit struggling.
"Even now…" he snarled, gripping her upper arm and clawing at her shoulder blades. "You are…infuriating!" Sweeney shook her violently, eyes clouding with anger and confusion.
"W-Wot'…" Mrs. Lovett spoke softly, her words fading in and out like a twilight chorus of crickets.. "W-W-Wot' am I doin'...to make ya…angry?"
"Everything!" Sweeney barked. "You were the bloody cause for the trouser incident in the first place!" He froze when he said this. Fuck. But…she wouldn't have to know that he ripped his trousers whilst having a brief… vision …involving her, which caused him to…well…have a little "problem" therefore making him have to fix the "problem" by…er…fixing it while leaning over the seat of his barber's chair. Consequently, the back of his trousers tore. Now, his trousers were a bit too tight, but that wasn't the point. It was Mrs. Lovett's fault for polluting his mind and causing him physical…difficulties.
"P-Pardon?" Mrs. Lovett looked up at him curiously.
"You…" Sweeney half-growled, half-sighed. "Never mind." He harshly shoved her away, although not without running his hand down her supple chest. Discreetly, of course. "Stupid woman." Sweeney, disgruntled, knocked over one of the knickknacks on the dresser before turning to leave.
"Mr. T, I—"
"Just…" Sweeney whipped around, eyes raking over her body. "Just…shut up." The barber stormed out, willing himself away from the source of his distress. Blasted woman!
When he had finally disappeared, Mrs. Lovett, in a state of shock, began cleaning up the mess he made. By her stiff, shaken movements one would assume she was horrified, stunned, and beyond afraid. Yet, her true feelings were revealed at the sight of her pale, beautiful face…
Her lips. Her full, crimson lips were gently curved upwards into a genuine smile.