Two days ago I was sitting by the riverside with my pen and paper, enjoying the sunshine and watching kiddies around me play in the water with little boats while their parents were watching over them. While I was trying to write a Sweenett story the idea for another 'what if' Sweeney Todd fic hit me and this is the result.
It had started when he had seen Nellie with her new husband and their little son by the riverside. A strange feeling had welled inside of him when he had watched the brown haired boy play with other children in the water of the Thames, their screams of joy and enthusiasm filling the air while they made small boats of wood float on the water.
The parents of the children were sitting nearby in the grass and his hands had clenched and his teeth had gritted when he had seen how Nellie Johnson, as she was called since her second marriage, was kissed tenderly by her new husband again and again when the children and other grown-ups weren't looking.
It had taken a few long moments before he could identify the feeling that filled his being every moment he looked at the baker and the other man; he was jealous.
The handsome, dark haired man wasn't supposed to be there, the young boy was supposed to be his, and the same went for the auburn haired baker.
Part of him knew that this was all his own fault. If only he had stayed with Nellie once he had killed the Judge and the Beadle at last… Instead, he had beaten her until she was unconsciousness when he had found out that she hadn't told him the truth about his wife.
Only years later, when he had seen her and that other man, he had realized how much Nellie suited him and that she was the only one who could've given him a new family and the love and happiness he had lost almost twenty years ago.
It had been so tempting to anonymously help the police discover exactly what had made Mrs. Lovett's meat pies so delicious while making sure no one would suspect him, just like no one had been able to find him when he had fled to a far away part of the city like he had done just after the last murders in the bake house of 186 Fleet Street. In the same way, it had been so appealing to get rid of that attractive man she had married by just cutting his throat.
But all this time, there was something that had prevented him from doing so. It was a feeling that was surfacing beneath the jealousy and hate he felt towards the man who had stolen the heart of the woman who could've been his own if only he had realized so earlier. He wasn't in love with the baker, but in his own, strange way, he was quite sure that he did love her and, what was even more odd, he didn't want to ruin the happy life she had now. For he was sure that if he did so, she would never forgive him and never even look at him again, let alone come back to her senses and marry him instead of that foolish man whose wedding ring she was wearing now.
One day he had approached her, quickly telling her that he had forgiven her for not telling the truth about his late wife. But even when he had said that he wanted to be her husband, she had freed herself from his grip around her arms and had told him coolly that she didn't want to be married to anyone who had attempted to kill her in the past and had left her for dead and at the mercy of the police.
Another time he had followed her back to her new home, a large and beautiful building far away from Fleet Street, and had managed to find his way to the second floor at night. He had peeked into the bedroom, where he saw to his horror and disgust how the other was making love to his Nellie, causing her to moan in pleasure and sigh the other man's name in contentment.
The next day, when she had gone to the market all by herself, he had dragged her into a dark alley, had slammed her against the wall and had kissed her hungrily, his body pressing against hers. Instead of reacting with equal vigour like he was sure she would've done in the past and even now, she had pushed him away forcefully, eyes widening in fear and shock instead of lust, and she had threatened to tell her husband if he wouldn't leave her alone. With pain in his already broken heart, he had watched her continue on her way to the market, feeling as if he had lost a wife all over again.
If there was something that Sweeney Todd regretted, it was that it had taken him so long to become aware of his feelings for Nellie. Now he had to wait, for she would sooner or later certainly chose him to be her husband – he was sure of it.