Title: A Devil on Fleet Street
Summary: A Devil ponders about the Demon-Barber of Fleet Street. No pairings. One-shot. Hellsing/Sweeney Todd.
Note: Thanks very much to one of my reviewers, who pointed out the lack of quotations around spoken words. It should hopefully be fixed now.
The moon swelled bright in the skies, illuminating the filthy streets of London. The silver glow did nothing to make the decrepit buildings and horrid tramps look appealing. Strumpets and drunkards were the only humans brave enough or stupid enough to traverse the lanes and alleys at this time of the night. Mangy alley-cats, the few that remained with the meat shortage still going strong, stole silently through the shadows. One, a scraggly calico, paused in the hunt to peer curiously into one dark shadow in particular. A throaty chuckle echoed down the lane. The cat held its ground even as two glowing red eyes appeared and the owner of the dark laugh materialized from no where. Crimson fabric swirled around the man s legs, white flashed as he leered down at the simple creature with a grin. Finally realizing the danger, the cat reared back with a hiss and bolted into the gutter. It was too late. Black tendrils shot out and engulfed the animal with gusto. Human-like shrieks of agony disturbed the quiet before the shadows consumed it.
A jaunty tune whistled from the man s lips as he strolled out of the alleyway and into the street. Even the most desperate whores steered clear on him, despite his appearance of wealth. There was something not right about him. He was too tall, too well fed, too cheerful for the dead of depressing times. No heed was taken as he made a beeline for one of the unlit shops that were crammed together like old beggars on a cold evening. A menacing aura surrounded this building in particular. It had caught his attention, first a fortnight ago, while he had been wandering the streets after visiting his beloved; and again, a week ago. Now, his curiosity could not be quelled any longer. Each time he passed near this place the stench of death and decay only grew stronger. Now he would discover why. It drew him in, like a silent symphony that only he could hear. For only those that dealt as close with death as he, could appreciate the work of art that lay within this unassuming little shop on Fleet Street. His want of knowledge would be assuaged before the night was out, he would make sure of it.
Mrs. Lovett s pie shop was closed, however it did not dissuade him from knocking on the door. He waited for a moment before growing impatient when no response was forthcoming. Glancing around, he spied a dim light in the loft above the shop. A deep breath was drawn into cold, dead lungs as he sniffed the air around the shop. The scents of blood and fear were strong here. He chuckled heartily and made his was to the upper level. Darkness drew around him like a cloak as he stepped through the door without opening it. He observed his surroundings with keen interest. The loft was of decent size, if somewhat bare of decoration. It held the appearance of a place long abandoned, despite its obvious occupant.
A man reclined in a barber's chair situated in the center of the loft. Black hair, struck through with grey, hung limply in front of his eyes. His eyes were what drew the watcher s attention, as well as the harsh tune he was singing of so softly. A silver razor blade was pressed ponderously, almost lovingly, to the man s cheek. What a curious man he was! His eyes were just as cold and sharp as the blade he caressed. They were sad and haunted, but with a steely purpose hidden in the black gaze. The man s song slowly invaded the watcher s mind, inspiring in him a sudden hilarity.
"There are two kinds of men and only two,
There s the one staying put in his proper place,
And the one with his foot in the other one s face,
We all deserve to die,
Tell you why Mrs. Lovett, tell you why.
The lives of the wicked should be made brief, For the rest of us death will be a relief,
We all deserve to die .
Johanna . I will have you bleeders."
The last words were spoken quietly, rather than sung. The name said with such tenderness as the watcher would utter his own loves, the oath spat out with wrath and promise. The proceeding silence was interrupted as the watcher s amusement got the better of him. Maniacal laughter startled the human. He leaped to his feet in shock, razor held out threateningly as he peered into the darkest corner of the room. Shadows seemed to writhe with a life of their own as the intruder allowed himself to finally be seen.
"Such a wonderful melody! And so enlightened! Sing it again for me?"
"Who are you, sir? What are you doing here?"
"You may call me Vlad, or Alucard, if you wish."
He bowed graciously and grinned, revealing abnormally sharp teeth. It unnerved the man, but the blade held steady even as he inclined his head in acknowledgement. His eyes flashed dangerously as he murmured, "Sweeney Todd. Now how did you come to enter this place?"
The watcher, Alucard, smiled gaily and silently delighted in what he witnessed in this human s mind. What marvelous carnage and bloodshed! Ingenious as well. Never before had Alucard gazed upon one after his own heart, before tonight. It seemed that one did not have to be a vampire to be a Monster! Todd s mind was lucid and calm; bloodlust and the driving need for revenge boiling under the surface. He was perfectly sane and calculating in how he plotted his retribution. How refreshing it was to make this new discovery. Although, the vampire shied away from Todd s memories of his love; too close it was, to mirroring his own current predicament with Mina. He slowly picked his way through Todd s recent memories and grinned. Perhaps he would have to come back during the day, and sample one of these infamous meat pies. It was an interesting, if backwards, way of helping his fellow man while achieving his own goals. Alucard loved the way this man thought, even if the initial plan for the bodies had come from Mrs. Lovett.
Silence pervaded too long and Todd frowned darkly. The only thing giving him pause from slashing this man s throat and having done with it were the stranger teeth and even stranger red eyes. Instinct held him back. Alucard was dangerous, but seemed too engrossed in his private amusement. It rankled on Sweeney s nerves, but carefully he lowered his friend, caressing the blade lovingly, before snapping it closed. He slowly retreated back to his chair, reclaiming his place on it. It was the same chair which mere hours earlier had provided Mrs. Lovett fodder for her delectable pies. A glimmer of dark laughter appeared in his eyes as he observed his visitor s every move. Alucard sauntered forward to stand casually, looking down at the human before him.
"If you will not tell me how, or why, then tell me what you are."
"Oh, I suspect you already know. I am a vampire. And what are you, Mr. Todd?"
Sweeney only blinked to show his surprise. It bothered him not a bit that his suspicions were confirmed true. Working in the prison labor camps, he had come across stranger things than vampires. As well, things more daunting. To him there was no monster worse than his fellow man. The question posed by the vampire before him was shocking, but he responded without hesitation. He had pondered the same exact question since his re-emergence into London society.
"I am a monster, Mr. Alucard. A monster spawned from the deepest depths of the pits of Hell. Reborn with but one purpose. I am a demon, Mr. Alucard. A demon, if only by my own deed and design."
The answer further delighted Alucard. Yes indeed, Mr. Todd was a rare jewel! It was a great shame that he was male, and no longer a virgin. He would have made a perfect addition to the Dracula Clan. So few humans could incite such interest from him. Such a shame. However, even Alucard, with his deep ambitions, knew that it was impossible to re-create a Monster. This demon, this former dog, this former man, was already perfection. Yes, Demon suited Mr. Todd. Yes indeed .
Gazing into this Demon-barber's soul, Vlad Dracula III loosed a chuckle that sent shivers up Sweeney s spine; and grinned a terrible grin, as shadow slowly consumed him where he stood. He greatly suspected, that some day, after they both had found True death, he and Todd would meet again. On that day, they would meet in Hell, and wreak such terrible destruction upon the fire-y banks of the river Styx. It would only be fitting, for souls such as theirs. Forever lusting for the blood that stained their hands in life . What a beautiful night it would be!