Summary: When her love married someone else, Linnet Reynolds was devastated, when tragedy struck her once more, she was broken, and just when she thought the worst was over, she had no choice but to leave London and all she knew behind. How will she react when she find Sweeney Todd where she left Benjamin Barker?
Author's Note: Alright so just a little tip here that in olden days it was NOT uncommon for a person's last name to be the title of their profession (ex. Mr. Blacksmith) so because I don't know of Mrs. Lovett's maiden name, it is now Baker. Please keep and open mind when you read this and I promise Sweeney will make his appearance in either chapter 3 or chapter 4.
General Disclaimer: If I owned it I would SO not need scholarships for next year...but Linnet is mine and so is the idea for this cheap spin off^^
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
Linnet Reynolds sat silently on the shaded park grass underneath the blooming jasmine tree. This was her place to stop her day; to simply think; to wander in her imagination. In her lap sat a pile of pages, corners fluttering lightly as the wind tried to pry them from under her hand. As she looked out upon the green grass and crystal blue water from the river she pondered the words she had written. Words that relatively described her, her life, her hopes and ultimately, the story of her dreams.
The young woman sat by her widow, sun shining down bringing with it, a red hue to her cascading auburn hair, her sharp green eyes gazed at the lands below. The leaves of the trees blew about freely as one by one, they snapped off of their captive branches. 'If only', she thought, 'the rest of the world were like them.'
Another page wrote about happiness in the purest of forms as a girl still so full of youth danced through the fields of flowers.
The little girl laughed gaily as the petals swam through the air and tickled her blushing face. She reached out to stroke the soft blades of grass around her and squealed with glee when she felt the soft fluttering of a butterfly's wings brush her fingers as it flew to some faraway home as quickly as it could possibly flee from the insanity that erupted from such joyous bliss.
Yet another page, described the lonesome sorrow she had suffered through past years.
Never before have I survived a moment with more pain, more heartache, than that of when he left me here alone. The feeling of despair, deep within my soul, was much like that of a small child who was told on the eve of Christmas, that the jolly old Saint Nicholas would not be coming that year. And I cried.
It was this page, that somehow evaded her grasp when a large gust of wind swept through. Panicked, she reached for it while clutching the other loose pages to her breast. At that moment she wished she would have thought to place the papers she weren't writing on under the food basket by her side, however it was too late for such thoughts as her page escaped her.
She scurried to arrange her remaining papers more properly so that she could stand easily and hopefully retrieve her missing work. She very soon realized however, that her rushing nature was not needed as a certain man had already grasped it, so she sat back down. As she watched him, she saw that he was in fact reading the words she had written. On his face, a look of pure interest, and perhaps...admiration? She thought. It couldn't be.
Benjamin Barker was a man whom many had heard of. He was quite the prodigy of the local barber and was well on his way to becoming the town's best. As he clutched her paper in his hand, reading her words with his eyes. She felt a strong feeling wash over her. A feeling she could name quite well for having not ever felt it truly for herself, but only reading about such wonders.
Her heart began to hammer in her chest almost painfully as she saw his warm, brown eyes move up from the page to meet her gaze. His features seemed to soften further as he looked at her with sympathy. It was then that she realized her last page, the page that flew away; the page that he now held and had read, was written in her own perspective. She had written it the night her brother had left home, having felt confined by the household rules set forth by their father; Thatcher left with his bride to be and was supposedly never heard from again.
She knew better of course for they had been exchanging letters since a week after he left. He would have taken her with him had he not been short of finance. He barely had enough to buy a small place in northern Wellingborough for him and his wife, Rachelle.
Linnet quickly averted her gaze from his, suddenly finding the river a great deal more interesting than the devastatingly handsome man before her.
"Are you alright Miss Reynolds?" He asked her sweetly in a voice lavishly abundant in compassion, yet with an underlying strength, yet to be heard from naïvety.
She looked at him carefully before smiling softly and replying, "Why Mr. Barker, I was not aware you knew my name." His eyes seemed to widen slightly as a faint blush arose on his cheeks, "Those words," she continued easily, "were written a few years ago Mr. Barker and they hold no meaning." She averted her eyes for fear he would see the lie so clearly for what it was. Her fears were proven true when he stepped closer and spoke.
"Now Miss Reynolds, I hardly believe that." He ignored her earlier comment, "A person simply cannot write words as beautiful as yours and not mean them or feel them." He laid a gentle hand on her shoulder as he crouched by her to see her face and give her page back to her.
She took it from him slowly and smiled gratefully. "Perhaps then, I should elaborate that they hold no romantic meaning. At least not for me." Her soft, melodious voice carried towards him with the slight breeze.
"I should hope not," he chuckled, "you mention your brother twice; along down the page a little."
It was Linnet's turn to blush having forgotten the extent of the confessions in her words. "I suppose that bares evidence to my previous confession in that these words were written years ago."
"Time does not erase all wounds as they say does it?" He asked sympathetically, seating himself more comfortably next to her.
"No Mr. Barker, it does not." She tilted her face towards him, giving him a small, grateful smile.
"I still feel the pain of my mother's death." He started, attempting to get her to talk to him. However, when all he received was a sympathetic look and a small hand resting on his shoulder in comfort, he chose a different approach, "I also can still feel the horrible sludge of a pie made by the young Miss Baker." He smirked.
"Mrs. Baker's pies are fantastic, what are you talking about?" She protested, moving her hand to lightly slap his chest.
"Ah, that is true, but you should take notice that I used the title Miss, not Mrs."
"You can't mean Nellie."
"Indeed I can. She's a lovely woman and she's trying to learn from her mother but the woman just cannot cook to save her life!" He chuckled, and was more than pleased when he heard her laughter chiming with him.
"I'll remember that the next time I feel in the mood for a meat pie." She laughed.
"Between you and me," He whispered, looking around to make sure no one was listening in, almost as if admitting a scandal, "I hightailed it to Madame Mooney's."
"Mr. Barker!" She gasped in fake shock, "Where is your loyalty?" She referred to the ongoing rivalry between Mooney's and Baker's pies.
"To my stomach!" He laughed once more, "I only just managed to escape now while she was practicing again. Though now that leaves me sadly with an empty stomach." He pouted playfully and earned another giggle for his efforts.
"Would you like to share with me my lunch?" She asked, the laughter still clearly evident in her eyes and voice.
"I wouldn't wish to impose on you Miss Reynolds."
"Please Mr. Barker, I insist. In fact, I'd consider it an insult if you declined." She replied, pulling out her homemade bread and a ration of seasoned meat.
"Well alright then, but only so on the condition that you call me Benjamin, or Ben if you like, Mr. Barker makes me sound rather old don't you think? That, and I have not yet been trapped in the joys of matrimony." He smirked with a chuckle at his wordings.
"Very well then Benjamin," Linnet replied, choosing to ignore his comment on marriage, "But then you must in turn call me Linnet."
"Agreed." He nodded his head to affirm that he would before accepting the portion of her meal he had been handed. Upon taking his first bite his brows shot into his hairline and he savored the taste on his tongue. The meat was cooked to perfection and the bread still held that soft and giving texture, usually only found fresh out of the oven, indicating it had been very recently baked. "Did you make this?"
"Indeed I did Mr...I mean Benjamin." She blushed.
"It is delightful Linnet...you have a small soup shop nearby Fleet Street do you not?"
"Yes I do." She replied smiling.
"Then I think I may just have to pay you a visit whenever Nellie is in her training. Or perhaps just a friendly talk?" He asked hopefully.
Linnet smiled, "I would like that very much Benjamin. Very much indeed. It does get a bit lonely for me what with Father always out and about. Ever since Thatcher left home my only escape was through my writing. And occasionally when I was creating something new in the kitchen. One tends to forget one's woes when their mind is occupied." She seemed to become flustered and embarrassed by her confession to him and blushed profusely having thought she said too much.
Benjamin seemed to pick up on her feelings of being uncomfortable and chuckled to lighten the mood replying, "You're a bit nutty aren't you? Perhaps I shall call you that. Better yet, your name is Linnet, therefore I shall call you Netty." His eyes gleamed in amusement letting her know he meant nothing to offend her.
"And you call me the nut." She chuckled, rolling her eyes.
And so it became that Benjamin Barker and Linnet Reynolds became friends. The closer they became, the more they discovered they had much in common. They both enjoyed reading and both hated sitting properly and sipping tea while making some such pleasant conversation. However, they both loved sitting quietly outside in beautiful scenes of nature and merely basking in one's own thoughts. Neither needed to have every silence filled with meaningless chatter, and were often content to just sit in each other's presence. It came to be that the two spent so much of their time together that the townsfolk began to think them to be courting.
And though Linnet would have loved for those rumours to be true, much to her displeasure, Benjamin Barker remained simply and solely her friend. Of this, Linnet became forcibly and painfully aware, the day Benjamin Barker, met his golden Lucy.
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