Title: Who You Are
Pairings: Sweeney/Fred, references to Sweeney/Fred/Ichabod
Fandoms: Sweeney Todd, From Hell, and Sleepy Hollow
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, don't claim to. Don't make a profit, etc...
Warnings: angst, m/m, AU/Crossover
Summary: "Todd, I won't lie and say I want to do this; I truly don't."
A/N: This is my first try at this pairing, so I hope it doesn't suck too much! :)
"I know who you are."
Sweeney did not have to turn around from his familiar position at the slanted window to know who it was. The statement, despite the grave seriousness of the words, hardly seemed to phase him, for he simply remained standing like a statue, staring aimlessly at the darkened streets below.
"Benjamin Barker," the unannounced intruder voiced quietly, almost sounding remorseful. "That's who you were. That's who you are."
"I'm afraid that's where you are mistaken, Inspector," Todd replied coolly. He pivoted on his heels to face the other man, though stayed where he was to keep a distance between them. "It's Todd now. There is no trace of Barker left, no matter how many documents you scrounge up from the past few years; his name won't be on any. He was erased from memory and civilization fifteen years ago."
Frederick Abberline crossed the dimly lit room to come before the person he had been investigating for the last two weeks. The fire visible in Todd's eyes was not because of the numerous candles burning, and Abberline did not shy away from this threatening gaze. "You can't just assume a different identity and go about as if you never had existed as that man. His crimes are your crimes, and you're merely adding to the tally. You can't run forever, Todd."
Slowly, not quite yet wanting to startle his possible next victim, Sweeney grasped the lawman's arms and marched him backward across the room to push him up against the wall near the door. It was then that a flash of uncertainty shined in Fred's eyes, causing a little smirk to pry the edges of the barber's mouth. The practically black colored eyes that pierced his made the inspector's heart speed its pace somewhat. They gave a picture of something he had never seen before in Todd – a stirring calm and genuine concern.
"What are you doing?" he asked hesitantly.
"What are you running from, Inspector Abberline?"
"Drowning your sorrows in a glass of arsenic? Or perhaps the opium den is a better aid in helping you forget. What is it that your mind flees from?"
"It's hardly any of your business, barber," Abberline snapped defensively.
"I understand your grief, Frederick. I share a similar burden."
"You know nothing." He tried to escape from Todd's grip, but immediately stopped moving when he saw a glint of silver just before the flat part of the razor was under his chin, tilting his head upward. "You wouldn't be stupid enough to kill me, would you? Surely you can pick and chose the poor men who find their way into your neighbor's pies."
"Are you afraid of me?"
"Is there a specific answer you're looking for?"
"The truth is always a nice answer."
"That's rich coming from you."
"Just give me an answer."
Fred's tongue flicked out to moisten his dry lips, and he waited a moment before finally answering, "No." The word was soft, though not with lack of confidence.
"And you know what I do up here in my shop, yes?"
"Yes. You don't frighten me, Todd."
"Perhaps it's because you understand my anguish as I do yours."
"I don't murder people and sell them as food to the public, so we are not as alike as you may think."
"Different ways of grieving. I don't chase the dragon like you."
"Are you trying to make me forget my duty? Not arrest you? Yes, we've gotten close ever since I started my case against you, which is a mistake on my part, but it has to end now, Sweeney. We can't do this anymore, this….sleeping with the enemy!"
The silver razor left Abberline's neck and returned to its secure place on Sweeney's belt. The hold on him was gone, letting him relax slightly from this and from sensing the change in the barber's mood.
"Does Ichabod know?" Todd inquired lightly.
"Haven't told him," the lawman responded delicately. "I don't think his heart could take it. I fear he may be falling rapidly in love with you. It'll tear him in two, knowing that you're a criminal and that he has to take you down, as it were. He follows the law to the letter more than I do; you know that."
The idea of slicing the young American's neck open sprang instantly to Todd's mind, but he quickly shoved it aside. No matter how much he attempted to deny it, he had genuine feelings for Ichabod Crane – Fred as well – and he believed he did not have it in him to destroy him. Not yet, at least.
"Todd, I….I won't lie and say I want to do this; I truly don't."
"Then get it over with. Arrest me." The barber's eyes stared at the other man intensely, daring him to make a move.
Abberline accepted. He pulled metal cuffs from his coat pocket, ready to secure them around the pale wrists that were extended toward him. When the first shackle was just about to be clasped shut, Sweeney grabbed the chain and threw the cuffs across the room. The inspector jumped, losing his tranquil composure, though he did not have time to contemplate on what to do next. Warm lips were against his, kissing him ardently, making his sense of rationality drift away. He rested his hands on Todd's face as the barber ran his up Fred's back. This was wrong, and Fred knew it, but he could not break from the passionate contact that he had yearned to have for so long. He had refused himself the pleasures of the flesh due to the severe pain of his wife and unborn child's deaths. Almost a year later, Todd had been the one to waken him from his lonely solitude – along with the help of Ichabod – and he found it extraordinarily difficult to reject Todd's advances whenever he made them. He would not admit it, but the fact that he had to take his potential lover into custody made him utterly miserable.
The reality was that he understood how one man could be driven to kill and motivated to seek revenge. He felt their connection strongly, and as Sweeney made to unbutton his shirt, despite not asking permission, he began to think more and more about defying his duty for once. Keeping secrets was something he deemed himself perfect at being able to do. And for Ichabod's sake, Frederick knew this was his challenge to take on and withhold from the young American.
As if hearing the inspector's inner thoughts, Todd pulled back slightly to provide Abberline with an affectionate smile. It was not there for long, and it was not a normal "thank you," but it was spectacular in Fred's eyes and meant everything.
"I'll protect you as long as I can," Frederick voiced quietly.
"And I swear to do the same for you."
With those sincere words, Sweeney led Abberline to the dilapidated bed at the far side of the room and laid him down. Well into the late hours of night, nothing was left unexposed to the other. Nothing was left untouched. Nothing was regretted.
"Do you know who I am now?" Sweeney breathed into Frederick's ear as he pressed himself against the man's back.
"Yes, I do," Abberline answered tenderly. "Sweeney Todd – one and only barber on Fleet street."